Community leaders and activists nation-wide will be following the progress of Franklin's stimulus application process and its consequences via the StreetsBlog Network.
In other words: If we screw this up, we screw this up for all to see.
Our situation has resonance across the country; the very real danger of sprawl-as-usual projects being rammed through with stimulus funds has to be confronted early in the process. The Surface Transportation program and many other federal programs are already available and being used by some savvy communities to create complete streets. Road infrastructure projects that help create complete streets through new construction or retrofit - - both being the sorts of projects that employ many engineers and laborers, one of the primary goals of the stimulus program - - should be a high priority for stimulus-funded work.
Our story is already spreading - see also The Infrastructuralist: New Bill in Congress Would Improve America's Streets, Neighborhoods. (From the story: The Complete Streets Act of 2009 was introduced on Wednesday by Doris Matsui (D - CA) in the House of Representatives as HR 1443 and was scheduled to be introduced yesterday in the Senate by Tom Harkin (D-IA). The bills would require states and Metropolitan Planning Organizations to adopt Complete Streets policies to ensure that future federally-funded road projects take into account the needs of everyone using the corridor.)