Friday, May 11, 2007

Transportation Policy

I ended up driving to work today. I couldn't get my butt out the door in time this morning. I'll get some riding in this weekend, and hopefully have better luck next week with commuting.

I live in a universe that promotes mass transit for many reasons, all of them good, in my view. But people love their cars, and feel entitled to use them whenever possible. Given the lack of density to support mass transit, this is not unreasonable. However, considering the increasing density in urban areas, building roads to accomodate leapfrog development seems counterproductive.

Which I why I was disappointed to read this commentary on the latest federal transportation bill. According to the author, congress has been rescinding allocations from the big transportation bill (you may know it as the highway bill that the president threatened to veto, but didn't, even though it was way over his target appropriation). Of course, the projects that lose the most funding aren't roads, but bridge improvements, air quality attainment projects and rails-to-trails programs.

In a time when aging public infrastructure will become a limiter of economic growth (see Chicago's maxed out and rapidly aging El trains), rising energy costs and climate change, it makes no sense to cut funds to the projects that have the greatest potential to support the movement of people sans cars.

No comments: