Big city commissioners talk politics of transportation reform

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) : – excerpt

What is the latest thinking on transportation politics and perspectives in America’s largest cities? How do transportation department chiefs view bicycling and transit? On Friday, the top transportation officials from Chicago, New York City, Boston, San Francisco and Philadelphia shared a stage for a panel discussion at the final event of the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ (NACTO) Designing Cities conference…

While Hayes kept the discussion interesting, some common visions emerged, and they’re likely to define the next era of transportation in big cities across America. The topics included the declining role of cars (and the rise of bicycles), financing, equity, battling car culture, and more

If you had any doubts about how Ed feels about your car, here is the proof that he thinks it is his mission to fight the car culture.

It also comes down to being smart with the money you do have, said SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin. “I think being strategic about how we invest money and doing it cost-effectively is key. And the most cost-effective investment we can make for moving people is bicycle infrastructure. It’s much cheaper to put in a bike lane than making a new subway…”

But Ed, you are spending money on a subway and bike lanes.


“The more we can move to active transportation — I guess I would call it active transit where you don’t have the union and you don’t have the driver because the user is driving themselves — and people can be healthier and stations can be modular and solar – powered; those kind of things need to be a part of the equation.”…

Not surprisingly, they transit officials want to eliminate drivers and unions.

Reiskin and Klein gave examples of how they’ve dictated terms of contracts with car sharing companies to ensure they place vehicles in underserved neighborhoods… ”

“Two-thirds of New Yorkers get around without a car, less than half don’t own a car; but you still have that psychological thing around cars… Like it’s a constitutional right

Last I checked we do have the right to own a car.

If you want to follow the status quo, you’re going to be one of those metropolitan areas that will not make it.”… (more)

What does “make it” mean? If it means become a new Manhattan, maybe we don’t want to make it. Maybe San Francisco wants to keep its traditional less dense residential neighborhoods with yards and cars.

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