BEST joins 195 organizations across the nation in calling on President Biden and Congress to prioritize transportation investments that put communities and people first.
UPDATE 2/6/24: Now including final call to action signed by 195 organizations.
BEST agrees with Transportation for America’s Policy Platform: “We are spending more than $50 billion in federal tax dollars every year, which fails to bring us equivalent returns. The more we spend, the more congestion, emissions, and pedestrian fatalities seem to rise, all while failing to address our most basic need: getting people where they need to go safely and efficiently. More money alone will not suffice without accountability for measurable or tangible accomplishments.”
Now organizations across the country are calling on elected leaders to prioritize transportation investments that puts communities and people first. An overwhelming proportion of federal infrastructure dollars continue to flow to transportation projects that damage both communities and environment and set us back on achieving climate goals. It’s time to end these destructive, unsustainable practices and set a responsible course toward a cleaner and more equitable future.
BEST is joining America Walks, National Organizations for Youth Safety, Transportation for America, and close to 200 other organizations in sending the following letter to President Biden, congressional leaders, and other elected officials.
Communities Over Highways Call for Action
February 6, 2024
Endless highway expansions are pulling our country into an environmental, budgetary, and public health crisis. It’s time to end this destructive, unsustainable practice and set a responsible course toward a cleaner and more equitable future.
We, the undersigned 195 organizations, call on our elected leaders to prioritize investments in infrastructure that puts communities and people first by divesting from both current and proposed highway expansion projects across the country.
We call on our leaders in government to adopt a moratorium on expanding highways and a pause on existing projects until climate, equity, and maintenance goals are met. The highway system we have built in our country is unsustainable, both financially and environmentally, and disproportionately harms low-income and Black and brown communities. We need to remedy these problems with a responsible approach to transportation that centers on community.
Community-first infrastructure means increasing frequent, reliable, and accessible public transportation. It means investing in policies that build homes close to jobs and amenities. It means providing clean air and water and making neighborhoods healthier, quieter, and safer. It means fostering small businesses and creating places for people to gather.
Investment in community-first infrastructure impacts more than transportation; it is a solution to improve affordable housing, public health, and the climate crisis while creating hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs.
While this moratorium is in effect, we call on our leaders in government to redirect funding for highway projects toward community-centered transportation priorities, including:
- Fix It First: Maintain existing roads and bridges before building new, larger ones.
- Safety Over Speed: Retrofit dangerous roads and streets to make them safer for people walking, biking, and driving.
- Make Transit Work: Provide capital and operations funding for reliable, affordable public transportation that connects people to jobs, services, amenities, health care, and each other.
- Reconnect Communities: Dismantle targeted highways and invest in the communities around them to increase opportunity and redress the harms these projects have inflicted.
Federal infrastructure funding must urgently be redirected into community-oriented infrastructure investments. A highway moratorium is the solution for improving public health and addressing climate, racial, and economic justice for our country.
America Walks, initiating organization
America Walks is leading the way in advancing walkable, equitable, connected, and accessible places in every community across the U.S. We are the national voice for public spaces that allow people to safely walk and move and host of the Freeway Fighters Network.
- Nearly 200 orgs nationwide tell lawmakers they want ‘communities over highways’ (BikePortland, 2/6/24)