Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Streetsblog.net

Transportation, Class and Housing: Making the Connections

If you're interested in transportation policy (and we know you are!) it
can sometimes seem as if all the problems plaguing America have their
root there. Today, we have a reminder from Streetsblog Network member Cap'n Transit that not even transportation can cure all ills. But we also have some very hopeful news from columnist Neal Peirce
on the Oregonian's website about the blossoming connection between
transportation and urban policy at the federal level (H/T to Portland Transport).

First, Cap'n Transit: 

00129tgq.jpgI'm a firm believer in equal opportunity in all areas, including transportation. The concept of "transportation for all"that I'm working out is a way of getting there. The question is howmuch you can accomplish with transportation. Unequal opportunitypermeates our entire lives (see the invisible knapsack, or the kittehs may make for easier reading). We can't solve this problem with just transportation.

…But just as [transit] …can't shoulder theentire burden for clean air, energy sustainability, safety andcommunity, it also can't create a classless society all by itself. 

Up until now, of course, government has
not done a great job of using transit to create social equity even to
the extent that it is possible to do so. Peirce reports on how that may
be changing:

Two of President Obama's Cabinet secretaries -- Shaun Donovan ofHousing and Urban Development and Ray LaHood of Transportation -- arepromising to make their bureaucracies work together. And not just instuffy interdepartmental meetings in Washington, but in crafting theirprograms as they impact communities nationwide. …

HUD funds have traditionally gone for public or affordable housing withlittle regard to whether it was located accessible to public transit orjobs. Conversely, major road or transit projects have received federaltransportation assistance with an apparently blind eye to whether theyconnect working class people to jobs or serve housing projects.…

The Cabinet secretaries said they're launching a "SustainableCommunities Initiative" with a joint fund to encourage, through acompetitive process, metro regions to develop integrated housing, landuse and transportation plans, focused also on energy savings andgreenhouse gas reduction.

Want more? Check out Transportation for America's
recent "webinar" on housing and transportation, which brought together
experts on transit-oriented development to discuss how transportation
policy can transform communities.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Automated Enforcement Coming Soon to a Bus Lane Near You

Metro is already installing on-bus cameras. Soon comes testing, outreach, then warning tickets. Wilshire/5th/6th and La Brea will be the first bus routes in the bus lane enforcement program.

April 18, 2024

Metro Looks to Approve Torrance C Line Extension Alignment

Selecting the relatively low-cost hybrid alternative should help the oft-delayed South Bay C Line extension move a step closer to reality

April 16, 2024
See all posts