Climate action is being limited by a lack of progress on transportation. Meanwhile, human well-being is being limited by car dependence which costs an unjust amount of money, time, and freedom.
The solution to both is the same: Reinvent transportation to become a system of people-first, resource-efficient mobility options.
The work, according to science and experience all around us, is manageable. It can also generate savings, yield results quickly, and make residents’ lives better. And it has synergies with equity, all kinds of public programs, and wider climate initiatives.
Progress is happening. In 2022, communities permanently transferred space from cars to people. California passed freedom to walk legislation and Colorado enacted the bicycle safety stop, giving new rights and dignity to light travelers. Denver gave incentives to a large number of residents to replace e-bikes with cars. The largest state funder of electric vehicles continued to diversity funding towards equity-centered modeshifting.
But the US is still behind. Resources for transit, insufficient before COVID, have collapsed, taking routes offline like in the Denver area. Road deaths are rising and pedestrian fatalities are at historic highs while cars are getting bigger and more dangerous. Elected officials continue to widen highways, despite expert consensus that doing so will only induce more driving.
And so, month by month, climate pollution from transportation continues to grow.
It’s time to make transportation start to work better for people and the climate.
climate action • transportation abundance