Gizmodo, “Public Transit is the Way to a Green New Deal.”
Smart Cities Dive, “Transportation-Based Green New Deal Seeks Extra 37b in Federal Investment.”
E&E News, “Groups Pitch a Green New Deal for Cars.”
Streetsblog USA, “Most Car Owners Wish They Didn’t Have to Drive.”
Curbed, “Transit is in Trouble. This Green New Deal Plan Could Help.”
Vox, “A Just and Sustainable Economic Response to Coronavirus, Explained.”
World Resources Institute, “Public Transit and Transportation Infrastructure: Creating Jobs and Supporting Transit Across the United States.“
The U.S. transportation system is both an enormous source of carbon emissions and a major contributor to inequality. Access to safe, affordable, and reliable transportation is a fundamental right, yet most Americans are denied this right because of misguided federal transportation policies and funding priorities.
The overwhelming majority of federal transportation spending is allocated for roads, leaving limited funds available for more sustainable modes like transit, walking, and biking. As a result, fewer than 10% of Americans currently live within walking distance of frequent transit. The collective “sidewalk gap” in U.S. cities easily adds up to tens of billions of dollars, and the Americans with Disabilities Act mandate to make streets accessible remains unfunded, leaving too many people isolated in their homes. Our roadways are designed to move vehicles at the highest speeds possible, with devastating consequences. More than 35,000 Americans die in automobile-related accidents every year, and pedestrian fatalities have increased by 35 percent in the past decade. Americans are spending longer than ever in their cars – and taking on unsustainable levels of debt to pay for those cars. These realities are treated as a necessary part of the American transportation system, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
With a Green New Deal for Transportation, we can transform our transportation system into a safe, just, low-carbon pillar of our economy. Americans will be able to walk or roll from their front door to a convenient transit stop, and catch a bus or train that will reliably get them where they need to go each day. We will be able to safely reach the store across the street instead of being forced to dodge dangerous, speeding traffic because there is no crosswalk. We’ll feel confident biking for everyday, utilitarian trips rather than having to drive somewhere to go for a bike ride.
Environmentalism has often been framed as requiring sacrifice, but enabling more transportation options is in line with what Americans want. Recent polling conducted by Data for Progress shows that Americans across political affiliation and geography feel trapped by driving and wish they had other mobility options. A majority of both Democrats and Republicans want to see federal transit spending increased. When it comes to allocating federal transportation dollars for roads, 79% think that agencies should be required to fix what we have before building any additional road capacity, and 61% support an outright moratorium on new road building.
Read the full report.
Read the transportation polling memo from Data for Progress.