Litmus Test for Transport Spending: Will It Benefit Our Kids?

Here’s an important consideration in how we expend our public resources that doesn’t find its way into your conventional cost-benefit analysis. Craig Benjamin at the Cascade Bicycle Club’s Bike Blog writes that every transportation investment should be held to this one standard:

How will they benefit from our transportation spending decisions? Image: Cascade

Next week our representatives in Olympia will introduce a multi-billion dollar package of transportation investments. When I see their proposal, I’ll ask one simple question: Will it create a better world for our children?

Will it make it safer for our kids to bike and walk to school? Will it make it easier for hard-working families to bike, walk or take transit to work, school, shops, restaurants, and places of worship? Will it focus on fixing our existing roads while making them safer for everybody?

For too long big corporations that profit from building highways have successfully pushed a roads-only approach. Well-heeled highway lobbyists have convinced politicians to spend most of our money on costly new highways instead of focusing on fixing the roads we already have and providing families with more options to get around.

They’ve rigged the system and made our cities less livable for working families and less safe for kids. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Cascade is urging its members to contact their state representatives and simply ask them to adopt a transportation spending package that will make the world a better place for the state’s children.

Elsewhere on the Network today: RTC TrailBlog explains how a South Carolina town used trail development to revitalize its main street. Wash Cycle thinks that President Obama’s “Fix it First” proposal would be a big win for cyclists. And Greater Greater Washington reports that AAA is fighting against efforts to reform D.C.’s parking minimums.