For Oberstar, Safe Routes to School Lives On

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted May 5, 2014 at 5:47pm

Former House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James L. Oberstar is continuing to give to transportation causes, even posthumously.  

Oberstar, who died over the weekend at age 79 , served in the House for 36 years after working as a staffer, including as administrator of the old Committee on Public Works.  

A death notice for the longtime Minnesota Iron Range congressman says the family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations should be directed to either the Safe Routes to School National Partnership or So Others Might Eat.  

During his decades as a leading voice on transportation policy, Oberstar did many events touting the Safe Routes to School program, which Congress first fully authorized in 2005.  

“In speeches in recent years Mr. Oberstar talked about Safe Routes to School as one of the most important programs he authorized in Congress and one of the programs he is proudest of,” partnership founding director Deb Hubsmith said in a tribute on May 3 .  

CQ Roll Call’s photographers were present for some of those events, including a joint appearance with Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., a senior member of Oberstar’s old panel. (You can see Oberstar and Norton in the background.)  

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Jim was a brilliant scholar of the nation’s transportation and infrastructure, and a devoted practitioner who spent 36 years contributing to the work of building and rebuilding the nation’s transportation systems – its road and bridge networks, and, as a cyclist himself, bike and running trails,” Norton said in a statement. “Jim’s encyclopedic knowledge of the field led him to master the complexities associated with intermodalism, the transportation wave of the future.”  

Calling hours will be held Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Joseph Gawler’s Sons funeral home in the Friendship Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C.. The burial will be private.