Infrastructure advocates in Washington are giving Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx an incomplete grade as he reaches the end of a tumultuous first year in office that began with a plane crash in San Francisco and ended with widespread auto recalls.
Foxx was sworn in to become President Obama’s second Transportation chief one year ago Wednesday.
Railway Supply Institute President Thomas Simpson said in an interview with The Hill that Foxx has had “a lot of safety issues thrown at him right out of the box” in his first year in office.
“He was put in a tough position, dealing with airplanes, automobiles,” Simpson said, adding that it was still too early to compare Foxx’s performance to other Transportation secretaries.
“I think he’ll do well,” Simpson said. “He’s got a good staff over there. We don’t always agree, but I think the department does a good job.”
Almost immediately after Foxx took over the helm of the Transportation Department, he was forced to deal with the fallout of an Asiana Airlines plane crash landing at San Francisco International Airport over the 2013 Fourth of July weekend.
Safety issues continued to dominate Foxx’s first year in office as a series of passenger and freight rail accidents occurred in the fall, the latter involving the transportation of flammable crude oil shipments.
The second half of Foxx’s first year in office has been dominated by General Motors’s recall of more than 29 million cars, including many that had safety issues going back as far as 2005.
The Transportation Department said Wednesday that Foxx has “made improving safety, and particularly the safe transportation of crude oil, a priority in his first year, in addition to increasing transportation investment, improving efficiency, and using innovation to stretch transportation dollars further.
SOURCE: Keith Laing