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Want to Improve Traffic Safety? Let People Get Around Without Driving

This ad is being aired across Missouri to convince voters to OK a three-quarter-cent sales tax that would raise $5.4 billion for transportation projects — mostly highways — over 10 years. The spots have been airing heavily in the run-up to the August 5 election, supported by millions of dollars from construction companies that hope to cash in.

It was smart of the construction lobby to zero in on the issue of safety, says Chuck Marohn at Strong Towns. But will spending billions on highway expansion make anyone safer? Marohn doesn’t think so:

We can have a lot of conversation about what makes a transportation system safe — and we have had that conversation here in multiple ways – but few people ever talk about the safest option: reducing the amount people are forced to drive.

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