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March 12, 2012

Five Days Left to Nominate Best and Worst Transportation Projects

Traffic2With gas prices on the rise and driving becoming more costly, it is time we looked critically at how we are investing in our transportation infrastructure.  Do we want to be stuck at the pump vulnerable to swinging gas prices, or do we want to invest in transportation infrastructure that will allow us to move around without oil? 

The Sierra Club is highlighting our country’s up and coming transportation projects in a report which will spark discussions about our nation’s transportation priorities.

There are five days left to nominate a project for Sierra Clubs report on our nation’s best and worst transportation projects, and we’re looking for your ideas.

Right now, even though gas prices are increasing, billions of federal, state and local tax dollars are being poured into building new highways instead of improving existing infrastructure or providing other means of getting around.

Many of these highways were proposed over a decade ago when gas prices were more than half of what they are today.  For instance, the planned I-73 expansion in South Carolina linking Myrtle Beach to Rockingham North Carolina is a $2.4 billion project proposed in 1991 when gas prices were around $1.15 per gallon.  Likewise, the Mon-Fayette and Southern Beltway around Pittsburg, which is slated to be completed in 2015, was proposed in the 1960s when gas cost about 30 cents per gallon.  

Do we truly believe that the transportation projects of yester-year will serve us well in the future?

By showing examples of the best and worst transportation projects in the country, this Sierra Club report will help the public understand how their tax dollars are being spent while underscoring the kinds of transportation investments which move us into the 21st century versus the ones that keep us stuck on fossil fuel.  Gas prices from the ‘60s aren't coming back, so why are we still building the transportation projects that were planned around those kinds of prices? 

Help us start this discussion by nominating your most loved or loathed transportation project to be included in the report. The Deadline for submissions is this Friday, March 16th.

We are considering a broad range of transportation projects, from small pedestrian projects done with community donations to multi-billion dollar mega-highways. We‘re focusing on projects of the future—in other words, projects in their planning or constructions phases—but we are also considering some recently completed projects.

Projects can include, but are not limited to: 

  • Highway Construction and De-construction
  • Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School projects
  • Transit: rail, bus, streetcar- you name it!
  • Bridges
  • Transit-oriented development and Smart Growth
  • Repair of existing infrastructure

We want to know about the innovative solutions that will help move us beyond oil and about the projects that will keep people chained to the gas pump, no matter how high prices get.

Only 5 days left! Nominate a project today. Deadline is March 16.

-- Clara Elias, Sierra Club Green Transportation Campaign Intern

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