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Unformatted text preview: es between groups of people who do not have the same social status. In
the US, this can mean differences in access to education, health care, housing, etc.
Subsidy. Government financial support of an industry or thing.
Urban. Relating to the city or town.
Urban Sprawl. The development of large suburbs outside of major cities. 3|Page Mass Transit Affirmative BDL 1AC 1/5
Contention One – The Status Quo
Current transportation infrastructure policy spends billions on highways while ignoring public
transit. This situation is discriminatory against the poor and communities of color
Karyn Rotker, Attorney of Law, 2007 (Poverty & Race 16.5, " Transportation: Regional Equity &
Environmental Justice", http://search.proquest.com/docview/210339531)
In August, 2007, a bridge on an interstate highway came crashing down during rush hour in
Minneapolis. Commentators seized upon the disaster as a sign of the need for more government
spending on infrastructure. But conversations about "infrastructure" routinely focus on
building, maintaining and expanding highways, treating public transit as an afterthought at
best. For decades, the federal government (and many state governments) have lavished
billions upon billions of dollars on highway construction, while funding for mass transit
lags far behind. The neglect of transit is discriminatory: The 2000 Census showed that
nearly one in four African Americans, and large percentages of Latinos and Asians, live in
households without vehicles available, compared to only 7% of non-Hispanic whites.
Communities of color are far more likely than whites to depend on public transportation to
get to work. Governmental disregard of transit strands low-income persons and
communities of color, often in inner cities though also in rural areas, while job growth,
economic development and housing migrate to wealthier, whiter suburbs. At the same time,
federal mandates that require regional planning frequently limit the influence of central cities in
transportation and regional development. The precise structures vary from community to
community. In some cities, activists have challenged the disproportionate amount of money
pumped into modes of transit used by better-off, whiter communities, while transit modes used by
inner-city residents are starved. The most well-known example was the case in which Los
Angeles bus riders challenged how much money was going to the rail system. In Milwaukee, a
majority-minority city surrounded by a ring of overwhelmingly white suburbs, survival of the transit
system is at issue. There are clear disparities in auto ownership and drivers licenses
between the predominantly low -income and minority residents of Milwaukee's central city
and the predominantly white residents of suburban counties. Census data confirm that
Milwaukee residents, especially those living in the central city, remain far more likely to rely
on public transportation than do suburban residents. 4|Page Mass Transit Affirmative BDL 1AC 2/5
Contention Two – The Harms of Transportation Inequality
Current lack of public transportation creates communities se gregated along racial lines.
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This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.
- Spring '14