“Our transportation system isn’t racist; it’s royalist.”


There’s this dude on Facebook, a left-winger from right here in New Albany. Every day, he’s passionately arguing national and international issues. He also thinks the local Democrats do a good job, which is a case of 1 + 1 = zero credibility.

Meanwhile, the essay linked here doesn’t lead to where left-leaning readers (like me) might think. That’s why it’s important to read a diversity of source material. Spotting the deficiencies seems almost easy. Coming up with prescriptions for a solution is where we get hung up on ideology.

The King’s Road, by Kevin D. Williamson (National Review)

Corinne Ramey, a freelance writer working in collaboration with the Nation Institute, has published a long and deeply reported account of the deficiencies in the U.S. transportation system, with an emphasis on the poor quality of service and low environmental standards on offer to poor and largely nonwhite communities relative to well-off and largely white communities …

 … The piece is very much worth reading. Ramey’s catalog of woe will not surprise those who are familiar with American transit issues: freeways that act as socioeconomic Berlin walls, bus and rail routes that both reflect and sustain the racial boundaries in large and small communities, the colocation of low-income residential areas with heavy-transit corridors and the air pollution that accompanies them, the desire of some residents in more affluent areas to have just enough bus service to get their housekeepers to work but not so much as to encourage visits from perceived undesirables, the entrapment of carless households in automobile-scale communities.

These are real problems, the costs of which are difficult to calculate …