Transportation, Infrastructure and Equitable Development

Transportation, Infrastructure and Equitable Development
  1. A recent study of Hurricane Harvey found storm-induced “flooding was significantly greater in Houston neighborhoods with a higher proportion of non-Hispanic Black and socioeconomically deprived residents.”
  2. Racism has shaped much of the funding, planning, location, infrastructure, design, and policing of public transportation in America.https://kinder.rice.edu/urbanedge/2020/08/24/transportation-racism-has-shaped-public-transit-america-inequalities
  3. Public roads have been given priority over public transit.
  4. The average American spends $20,679 on housing and $10,742 on transportation.
  5. Low-income Black families spend nearly one-third (30%) of their income on transportation.
  6. Americans spend more on transportation than on health care, education or food.
  7. People of color make up 60% of U.S. transit users.
  8. Ethnic breakdown: Whites (40%); Blacks (24%); Hispanics (19); Asian Americans (7%);Asian/Pacific Islanders (2%); Native Americans (1%); Multi-ethnic (1%); Other (6%).
  9. Transit apartheid is internalized in the construction of two systems and two levels of subsidy, one for so-called “choice” riders and one for so-called transit “dependent” riders.
  10. A recent Transit Center and the Center for Neighborhood Technology study found COVID-19 resulting in service cuts, eliminated routes, and increased wait times for essential workers.
  11. In the 10 regions modeled, more than 3 million households and 1.4 million jobs would lose access to frequent transit.
  12. As poor and people of color residents moved to the suburbs in the 2000s, their proximity to jobs fell more than for non-poor and white residents, creating longer and more expensive commutes.
  13. Nearly half of the nation’s population – 150 million people breathed polluted air, including  particulate matter, ozone and other smog-forming emissions.
  14. Air pollution in the U.S. is responsible for over 30,000 premature deaths each year and reduced life expectancy.
  15. The number of jobs near the typical Hispanic in metropolitan areas declined by 17% and for Blacks declined 14% compared to a 6% decline for White residents.
  16. Some 93 percent of U.S. households have access to a car.
  17. Transportation accounts for the largest portion (28%) of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

Extreme heat resulted in some 12,000 deaths in the U.S. each year between 2010 and 2020 and is predicted by 2100 to reach an annual toll could as high as 97,000 (Stone et al. 2021).

The number of annual major “blackout” events doubled across five large U.S. cities between 2015 and 2020.

When major blackouts and heatwaves occur together at least 68% of people living in cities are exposed to indoor temperatures that can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke (Shindell et al. 2020).

Heat stress is the leading weather-related cause of death in the United States, worse than hurricanes, tornadoes or floods.