First gas stoves, and now your transportation. The Biden administration wants to take control in a new way, this time it’s eliminating carbon emissions from transportation sources by 2050 by targeting transportation methods. This plan was released as a joint effort between the Departments of Energy, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Their plan mentioned decarbonizing “America’s transportation sector.” It would also require a redesign of communities across the country for walking or biking to be a realistic option for everyone, when possible.
The plan called for more “investments” in walking and biking infrastructure and said land-use planning will “tackle the problem at the root and make it appealing and practical for people to take fewer or shorter trips, or to walk or bike on those trips where that is feasible.”
It anticipated more spending on “green infrastructure – trees and planted areas along streets, parking lots, and other paved areas,” which it said “makes walking and biking more appealing.” It also called for re-imagining the way cities and towns are laid out in order to make walking a more popular option.
This new kind of urban planning would “increase convenience by supporting community design and land-use planning at the local and regional levels that ensure that job centers, shopping, schools, entertainment, and essential services are strategically located near where people live to reduce commute burdens, improve walkability and bikeability, and improve quality of life… Because every hour we don’t spend sitting in traffic is an hour we can spend focused on the things and the people we love, all while reducing GHG emissions.”
One problem with today’s communities, the report said, is that “homes, workplaces, and services are often located far apart from one another.” It said the “spatial mismatch” between jobs, housing and services is “especially pronounced in disadvantaged communities.”
To fix those problems, the report called for what it called “equitable transit-oriented development (ETOD).” This mode of development involves making walking and biking “more viable.” “ETOD supports a walkable, mixed use development and transit lifestyle and meets the needs of existing businesses and consumers, while avoiding displacement of local residents and ensuring an adequate mix of affordable and market rate housing,” it said.
This new plan seems like it would cost quite a bit of money, with its lofty goals of redesigning large amounts of America in efforts to make them walkable, bikeable, and appealing. Though in the end – it seems like just another ploy to control Americans, this time through cutting drive times. And on top of it all, can you really say you saw this coming from Biden? The man isn’t someone who is necessarily a biking aficionado. He fell off of one the last time he tried it. So what other reason besides control would bring this idea to his mind?