The highways that are built to
sustain sprawling suburbs add to our pollution and energy problems, and increase our
dependence on an auto-centric way of life which is unhealthy, anti-social, and
unsustainable. The Sierra Club encourages public transit and pedestrian- and
In 2003, Congress will reauthorize the federal transportation spending bill. This bill, authorized every six years, determines how federal transportation money can be spent. In 1991, Congress passed the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and renewed it in 1998 through the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). TEA-3, as the new bill is being called, should build on the progress made in the past two.
Recently the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has come under attack. Attempts are being made to short circuit NEPA’s environmental review process by altering the laws. These changes, often referred to as “streamlining,” would strip NEPA of key environmental safeguards and take power away from the people most effected by new transportation projects. Rather than changing the laws, efforts to improve the environmental review process should focus on bettering the administration of current laws.
The Bush Administration's push to weaken -- in their words, "streamline" -- environmental reviews is strongly questioned by a General Accounting Office (GAO) Report. The GAO finds over 90 percent of transportation projects do not even require extensive environmental review, which underscores the Sierra Club's position that the Administration's proposal is unnecessary and unwise for communities and the environment.
Learn More About Transportation and Sprawl
The Regional Alliance for Transit offers alternatives to highway
construction and proposals for cleaner air through transportation
Paying commuters who don't drive with Parking Cash-Out
Employer Programs to Reduce Commute Driving
Transportation Control Measures: How to Reduce Driving
through Transit and Wise Land-Use
Sierra Club's official transportation policy.
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