‘Divided by Design’ Underscores Inequities in Transportation Policy

  • Date: 07/14/2023

Divided by Design, a new report from Smart Growth America, highlights the inequities built into the U.S. transportation system and calls for “a fundamental change to the overall approach to transportation.”

Past decisions, including routing the Interstate Highway System through communities of color, dividing and often demolishing them in the process, still shape our built environment.  And most importantly, the foundation of the modern transportation program was built on models, measures, and standards with roots in this era.

The report notes that “Because it is difficult and unsafe to reach daily needs without a vehicle in much of the United States, transportation has long acted as an economic barrier in the United States.” Thanks to the perpetuation of car-oriented infrastructure, “Fewer than 10 percent of Americans currently live within walking distance of frequent transit, like buses or metro trains.”

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