A big-tent coalition of groups running the gamut from the National Association of Realtors to the American Public Health Association to NRDC unveiled a new platform for federal transportation policy today as part of the Transportation for America Campaign. Check out the press release here.
While there are several planks in the platform, an overarching purpose is to build out the second half of our transportation system: Intercity rail as well as public transportation and bicycle and pedestrian connections within metro areas. This is very much aligned with public sentiment. The National Association of Realtors released its new national survey of consumer views on growth and transportation. Here's the key paragraph from their press release:
- When asked about approaches to addressing traffic, 47 percent preferred improving public transportation, 25 percent chose building communities that encourage people not to drive, and 20 percent preferred building new roads. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed believe the federal government is not devoting enough attention to trains and light rail systems, and three out of four favor improving intercity rail and transit.
This platform is also aligned with two key national priorities: Reducing our perilous oil dependence and cutting global warming pollution. The options that Americans demand are more fuel-efficient and cleaner than having to drive everywhere, all the time. And guess what? These investments will make life easier for drivers too by moving traffic off congested roads and highways.
Policymakers who are serious about unshackling America from foreign oil and tackling the global warming threat should support the Transportation for America program, so we can get to work building a better future for ourselves and our kids.