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Unformatted text preview: or one, such policies encourage housing development increasingly farther away from central cities, which has played an important role in fostering residential segregation and income inequalities. Also, the practice of locating major highways in minority and low-income communities has reduced housing in those areas. Other transportation investments, such as extending a rail line into a community, have made it more difficult for minorities and low-income individuals living there to afford housing because of ensuing property value increases. Individuals displaced by rising property values commonly have few alternative housing options and may end up living farther away from their jobs and social networks—a problem that is compounded by limited transportation options. Transportation policies favoring highways over transit have also helped to create “spatial mismatch”—the disconnect that occurs when new entry-level and low-skill jobs are located on the fringes of urban areas that are inaccessible to central-city residents who need those jobs. 11 | P a g e Capitalism Critique BDL Link – Highways [___] The government gives preference to highways, devaluing the poor minorities who can’t afford cars to use highways Bullard, Ph.D. in Sociology from Iowa State University, 2004 (Robert D. Bullard, Highway Robbery: Transportation Racism & New Routes to Equity) Over the past 75 years, automobile production and highway construction have multiplied, while urban mass transit systems have been dismantled or allowed to fall into disrepair. The American automobile culture was spurred by massive government investments in roads (3 million miles) and interstate highways (45,000 miles). Automobiles account for 28 percent of our nation's energy consumption. Transportation consumes 67 percent of the petroleum used in the United States." And over 75 percent of transportation energy is used by highway vehicles. From 1998 to 1999, US gasoline consumption rose by 2.5 percent and vehicle miles traveled increased by 1.4 percent. More cars on the road have meant more pollution, traffic congestion, wasted energy, urban sprawl, residential segregation, and social disruption. Indeed, not all Americans have received the same benefits from the massive road and highway spending over the past several decades. Generally, the benefits of highways are widely dispersed among the many travelers who drive them, while the burdens of those roads are more localized. Having a seven-lane freeway next door, for instance, is not a benefit to someone who does not even own a car. People of color are twice as likely to use nonautornotive modes of travel-public transit, walking, and biking-to get to work, as compared to their white counterparts. In urban areas, African Americans and Latinos comprise 54 percent of transit users (62 percent of bus riders, 35 percent of subway riders, and 29 percent of commuter riders).' Many Americans have cars and the majority of American workers opt for private automobiles, which...
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This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.

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