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Cal Bike Coalition - Justification for a Joint Legislative Select Committee on Transportation Equity

Publication date: 
Friday, November 10, 2017

Transportation connects people to places, and is a major determinant of access to opportunity and economic mobility. At the same time, it powerfully shapes both the location and the nature of development and land-use, whether that be a suburban subdivision accessible to a freeway exit, luxury
condominiums a short walk from a rail station, or a warehouse district near a port. In short, transportation creates both benefits (like access to opportunity) and burdens (like exposure to toxic emissions).

Transportation justice recognizes that these benefits and burdens do not fall equally on all. Different “modes” of transportation are relied upon disproportionately by affluent or low-income people and by people of color, and the burdens of transportation systems fall disproportionately on low-income people of color. Thus, transportation justice entails an affordable, accessible, sustainable, clean, efficient, and safe transportation system that provides the greatest mobility benefits and other co-benefits to our most vulnerable residents. Advancing transportation justice requires the prioritization of transportation investments that have been identified by residents of disadvantaged communities that have been historically displaced by past transportation investments and those who continue to bear the burdens of transportation infrastructure, while receiving little to no meaningful benefit. Transportation justice not only creates pathways for improved climate, air quality, and transportation investments in California’s most vulnerable communities, it also opens access to opportunity and pathways to community prosperity by providing millions of underserved Californians with reliable transportation alternatives to access jobs, healthcare, schools, their families as well as critical amenities and services.

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