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Report Calls for Major Changes to AZ's, Nation's Transportation System

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A new report is calling for major changes to America's fossil fuel-based transportation system, which it says pollutes the environment, causes unnecessary deaths, harms the public health, and contributes to climate change. (Flickr)
A new report is calling for major changes to America's fossil fuel-based transportation system, which it says pollutes the environment, causes unnecessary deaths, harms the public health, and contributes to climate change. (Flickr)
 By Mark Richardson - Producer, Contact
April 8, 2021

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- An analysis of the nation's transportation infrastructure calls for policymakers to lay the groundwork now for a sustainable, efficient, modern, and inclusive mobility system.

The study released today calls for policymakers in Arizona and the nation to move toward transportation options that meet all consumers' needs and protect public health.

The report argued the current, fossil-fuel-based infrastructure pollutes the environment, causes unnecessary deaths, harms the public health and contributes to climate change.

Diane Brown, executive director for the Arizona Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, which released the study, believes people are ready for change.

"If policymakers made a deliberate effort to provide us with viable transportation options, we are confident more Arizonans would choose those options," Brown asserted.

She added restructuring the transit system is an opportunity to bring new options to people of color and low-income communities.

Brown contended the pandemic showed, given a choice, people prefer to drive less and will choose walking, cycling and other modes of transportation.

She pointed out efficient, non-polluting and effective modes of transit are being developed and, if implemented, would give people in every part of the state the ability to choose the type of transit system that works best for them.

"When it comes to transportation in Arizona, one size does not fit all," Brown remarked. "Arizona policymakers need to look at what transportation options work best for which communities in the state."

Brown predicted President Joe Biden's infrastructure initiative, if approved, could drive the type of transportation changes needed, but urged state and local officials to find the political will to bring new mobility options to Arizonans and others.

"Arizona and federal policymakers have the ability to set our infrastructure on a course that works for residents in our state, whether they are in a small rural community or a large urban area," Brown concluded.

Disclosure: Arizona PIRG Education Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Consumer Issues, Energy Policy, and Urban Planning/Transportation. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
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