Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fund public transport, not highways

Opinion | "Dear Editor: As a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I organize my life around a set of priorities. At the top of that list is education, slightly below is affording that education, then food, sleep, friends, and so on. Potentially shockingly, owning a car is not on that list at all.

In Madison, I spend most of my travel time biking, some walking, a small portion busing, and almost no time travelling in a car. This transportation lifestyle is possible because of the highly functioning systems of bike lanes, walking paths, and public buses in and around the UW-Madison campus, but without these systems, getting from place to place would be stressful, time consuming, and much more expensive.

Last week a plan to expand three miles of the I-94 highway is Milwaukee was cancelled. If you’d asked what I thought about this decision before I’d moved to Madison I would have had no opinion, but now I am glad that the project was halted. The community would be much better served by a whole-scale expansion of public transportation options than by wasting $1 billion to expand just three miles of road. Not only would this reduce transit times, but it would also make transportation less expensive and more accessible to everyone regardless of socioeconomic class, age, or physical ability.

I prefer public over private transportation and I hope the money intended for the highway expansion will, instead, be put toward creating transportation options that will benefit all people."