Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

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House Transportation Bill Falls Short

February 9th, 2012 by

Light Rail in Newark. Source: FTA

There is ample evidence that walking, biking and riding mass transit have lower environmental impacts than driving does, and provide health benefits to those who use those forms of transportation. Even though NJ Transit has been widening seats, studies show that those who use mass transit to commute receive their recommended daily allowance of exercise. Researchers in New York have demonstrated that commuting by public transportation rather than by car increased individual energy output by the equivalent of one pound of body fat per six weeks. At the same time, recent surveys have demonstrated a clear market demand for more walkable places and greater access to transit. In fact, a 2011 Monmouth University poll showed that more than 76 percent of New Jersey residents favor greater emphasis on road repair than new-road construction, and 54 percent agree transit should be expanded.

Given those facts, the most recent transportation re-authorization bill in the House of Representatives seems especially counterintuitive. As pointed out by our campaign partners at T4 America, H.R. 7, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act:

  • Eliminates all dedicated funding for public transportation, penalizing current and would-be users of public transportation by allowing the service and state of repair of our transit systems to continue to decline;
  • Eliminates the funding that helps make streets and roads safer for children, as well as for those who travel on foot or bike. 
  • Does not provide sufficient funds to allow us to fix our existing bridges and roads. 

To learn more and to see how you can get involved, please visit the T4 America call to action.


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