…and it’s a human health crisis.
People who bought huge new SUVs and trucks when prices were down are paying the price big time (as are all drivers of personal vehicles). Drivers of these oversized machines have contributed to a huge increase in road fatalities. The consumption of gas by vehicles of all sizes has contributed to deaths due to respiratory diseases resulting from the impact on the environment.
We must figure out a way, “both immediately and over the long term, to curb the addiction to oil. In the United States, transportation accounts for over 70 percent of total oil consumption, and more than 65 percent of that is for personal vehicles, according to the Energy Information Administration. Put another way, personal vehicles alone account for almost half of the burning of petroleum in America. A whopping 80 percent of U.S. climate emissions from transportation come from driving.”
The bipartisan infrastructure bill doesn’t come close to addressing the real problem, which is too many cars, which will be exacerbated by expansion of highways, rather than fixing existing infrastructure, investing in transit, and helping cities reduce car dependency. It could have funded initiatives for cities to be bold, to help to create streets that are people-centric, to make transit free, and to give rebates to people who buy bikes, and bonuses to folks who get around without a car.
“…as the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) said in a statement last year, the “bill goes in the wrong direction, giving a whopping $200 billion in virtually unrestricted funding” to unsustainable forms of transportation.”
It’s still possible for Biden to make an impact. He can publicly call upon mayors to accelerate transit development, bike, and pedestrian programs using funding in the American Rescue Plan.
“The bipartisan infrastructure package has only made the challenge more difficult. But municipalities could still make it right.”
By pouring money into fossil fuel infrastructure, the bipartisan law is already showing its tragic inadequacies.
By Alexander Sammon