Varsity-Packet-Final

Most drivers forego carpooling with three fourths of

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Unformatted text preview: utomobiles, which provide speed and convenience. Most drivers forego carpooling, with three -fourths of all commuting cars carrying only one person. Generally, people who commute using public transit spend twice as much time traveling as those who travel by car. Consider that the average commute takes about 20 minutes by car, 38 minutes by bus, and 45 minutes by train. For millions of inner -city residents, public transportation is the only means of getting around. For them, there is no question that energy -efficient public transportation is needed for easy access to child-care services shopping, job centers, and health care services. Routes of Transportation Apartheid The disparity of fruits borne by various transportation development projects is a grim story of a stolen harvest with disproportionate burdens and costs paid for in diminished health and life opportunities by poor people and people of color. Many federally subsidized transportation construction and infrastructure projects cut wide paths through low-income and people of color neighborhoods. They physically isolate residents from their institutions and businesses, disrupt once-stable communities, displace thriving businesses, contribute to urban sprawl, subsidize infrastructure decline, create traffic gridlock, and subject residents to elevated risks from accidents, spills, and explosions from vehicles carrying hazardous chemicals and other dangerous materials. Adding insult to injury, cutbacks in mass transit subsidies have the potential to further isolate the poor in inner-city neighborhoods from areas experiencing job growth compromising what little they already have. 8|Page Mass Transit Affirmative BDL Urban Sprawl Add-on [____] Investing in mass transit could significantly reduce urban sprawl by reducing reliance on cars Trip Pollard, Senior Attorney and Director, Land and Community Program at Southern Environmental Law Center, 2004 (“Follow the money: transportation investments for smarter growth,” Temple Environmental Law & Technology Journal, Spring, 2004, 22 Temp. Envtl. L. & Tech. J. 155) Greater analysis and scrutiny should be given to numerous aspects of transportation infrastructure decisions in order to better understand the likely impacts of these decisions on land development and transportation patterns and to identify opportunities to promote smarter growth. As noted above, the amount and comparative level of investment in various transportation modes is an important influence on land development and transportation patterns. Heavy spending on highways and other roads has spurred sprawl and provided few meaningful alternatives to motor vehicle use. Investments in transit, on the other hand, tend to foster more compact development patterns and to reduce driving. However, this is a very broad generalization and investments in road projects need not be antithetical to smarter growth and more sustainable transportation. The location, type, and scale of project selected for investment within a particular mode are additional factors i...
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