Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Son of SRC Still Misses on Greenhouse Gases

It's framed more about distributing funding costs
and continues to talk past the central matter
It's not like funding the SRC was a non-issue. The concept was costly and risky, and Salemites asked to bear too much of any total cost. Funding was a great issue, and any real, durable solution would need to grapple with it in a better way.

But new talk about Rep. Evan's legislative concept for a multi-county task force seems to treat the cost and the distribution of costs as the primary problem. It treats the politics of funding as the main thing.

This misses our central need to reduce driving. As long as we take as an article of faith that driving, both in trip count and in total miles traveled, must always be increasing, we will self-sabotage our greenhouse gas goals. Bridge fundamentalism - we need a bridge because we need a bridge - interferes with our 21st century needs.

Utter disconnect on climate and emissions
Even if you think projecting annual increases is purely descriptive, as close to a "natural" development as we are going to get under current policy, it's still the result of policy preferences for more driving.

And any such annual increase leads us to harmful outcomes and is not consistent with sustainability.

The best policy stance is not to ask "how can we best accommodate these annual increases?" but to ask, "how can we avoid these harmful annual increases?"

Until we see a conversation about cross-river mobility that directly engages the need to decrease driving and contains a critique of bridge fundamentalism, the conversation will remain misguided and in thrall to short-term politics.

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