“While we inherited a transportation system built on racial discrimination and a belief that moving cars is most important, it does not mean that we can continue with the same type of thinking.”

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Here’s the link, and the title says it all.

Equitable, just and inclusive transportation systems are within our reach, by Veronica O. Davis (Roads & Bridges)

Taking into consideration Team Gahan’s ongoing aversion to books and reading, not to mention genuinely purposeful and inclusive communication, I’ll highlight the conclusion while noting that the entire article is worth ten minutes of every one’s time.

Bringing it all together

As transportation professionals, we are charged with ensuring people are able to move from Point A to Point B safely and reliably. While we inherited a transportation system built on racial discrimination and a belief that moving cars is most important, it does not mean that we can continue with the same type of thinking. Even as we grapple with new technologies such as autonomous vehicles, dockless bike-share systems and scooters, we are susceptible to repeating past mistakes unless we completely shift the paradigm. In point of fact, complete streets and Vision Zero require us to think, act, and design differently.

We must:

  • Make bold decisions to reallocate lanes for single-occupancy vehicles to other modes such as public transit, biking and walking.
  • Champion complete streets and Vision Zero as a philosophy and a way of doing business so they become more than paper documents.
  • Recognize whose voice is not being heard in the process and then being proactive and reach out to those communities. This may include increasing resources to be able to engage the community.
  • Create a framework and vision that sets the ground rules for new technologies to serve all communities.
  • Increase the number of women and people of color within the profession, so we may reflect the communities we serve.

Following the examples set by our predecessors is not an option. We must shift the paradigm to right historical injustices by designing a network that is inclusive of all people as we prepare for the future.

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