We have so much at stake in this upcoming presidential election. I hope the Dems are really on the right track. I hope whoever gets into office will come up with some green infrastructure investment projects to help boost the US economy.
The very most obvious place to start – reinforcing urban center public transportation and even beginning a build out of more extensive public transportation in the sprawling suburbs. Even if the suburbanites drive a short distance to the point of departure – much better than having people driving as much as four hours daily, based on real life cases I am hearing about.
For instance, Chicago’s public transportation system is constantly under financial stress. And in the last decade more and more people are driving! In fact, this city is getting more and more car friendly and pedestrian hostile, in terms of it’s policies.
For simple starters, Chicago needs an outer circle train loop, which at least I think is now in the works. This is a dire need and existing projects like this across the US need financing.
And the city needs to stop letting construction sites overtake pedestrian areas – it’s often hell to walk because the city has no problem letting construction sites block the sidewalks. I felt literally forced to move from an apartment recently because the sidewalks were blocked off on every side by construction projects. I would even get yelled at by one crew by just walking past it on the street, instead of crossing, yet I literally had no place to cross safely. So a rational person in this case would drive. In fact this is what the vast majority of the neighbors did, despite the fact that we were a mere mile from the tip of the loop.
Anyhow – I think a great place to start thinking of major investments is in public transit and in projects that lesson oil dependence through encouraging ped and bike friendly environments.
Here is an obliquely related article by one of my favorite Economists, Paul Krugman:
New York Times
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