Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Don't Drill, Invest in Community

An op-ed on Huffpost by Geoff Anderson and Shelley Poticha discusses why we should be eschewing drilling and investing in America's future with better transit and communities.

Encouragingly, Congress has begun to hear their constituents' calls for help. The U.S. House voted overwhelmingly for the Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act, authorizing $1.7 billion over two years to help transit agencies stave off fare increases and keep pace with ballooning ridership.

But while critically important and timely, this measure is only a minor down-payment on what is required to meet the growing demands on our transportation network. Still needed, urgently, is relief for residents of small cities and rural areas. And longer term, 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.

I'd like to add that again, we don't need any more carbon in our air or oil dependence.

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