How to Ease Pain at the Pump Without Deepening Oil Dependence

As the drumbeat for domestic drilling grows louder, can the Democratic leadership come up with a better alternative than tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? Over at the Huffington Post, Shelley Poticha and Geoff Anderson of Transportation for America propose a few ideas that will actually pay dividends. Pols who are serious about reducing the impact of high gas prices should listen up:

We have to
keep pace with demands for public transportation, and give this country
a reason to be proud of its high-speed trains, light-rail lines, and
both rapid and conventional bus transportation options.

We need to make more of our streets safe and convenient for walking
and biking to work, school, shops and public transportation stops. We
have to create incentives for developers to invest in our close-in
suburbs and urban centers, to meet the huge demand for affordable homes
in convenient locations. Americans are not dumb: given the real choice,
we would much rather invest in well-located real estate than in
gasoline.

We are tired of feeling like victims — whether of oil companies, poor
planning, or a lack of vision. Americans are ready for innovative
change, if only our leaders will follow the people’s charge.

  • If you make public transit free, the voices for better service will be stronger, and sprawl will be a little less subsidized.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Letters to David Brooks: Yes to Infrastructure, No to Highways

|
On Friday, New York Times columnist David Brooks joined the chorus calling for more transportation investment, which came as something of a surprise given his conservative pedigree. But Brooks has always had a soft spot for the exurbs, and his proposed "National Mobility Project" was predictably premised on the idea that transportation projects should accommodate […]

Opinion: The Autonomous Future of Public Transportation

|
Applications within public transportation for driverless vehicle technology should be much more than an afterthought. Yet public transit agencies seem to be slow to recognize the potential of autonomous vehicles (AVs) which could literally revolutionize how we think about and use public transportation. Fortunately, cities around the U.S. are starting to understand the technology’s potential. […]

Transportation for America Releases Blueprint for Transportation Reform

|
Today Transportation for America is releasing a 100-page document called "The Route to Reform," in which they outline policy recommendations related to the upcoming reauthorization of federal transportation funding legislation (download the executive summary here or the full report here).  From the executive summary:  The next transportation program must set about the urgent task of […]

From Russia, with Transit Love

|
View of a departing Moscow subway train. All Photos: Alexander Friedman I just returned from a trip to Moscow and noticed an interesting trend. Despite the economic slowdown, which Russia is also certainly experiencing, their public transportation is not only as efficient as it’s always been, but – it keeps getting better and better.  Unlike […]