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Transportation systems do not spring up out of the thin air. They are planned—and, in many cases, planned poorly when it comes to people of color. Conscious decisions determine the location of freeways, bus stops, fueling stations, and train stations. Decisions to build highways, expressways, and beltways, have far-reaching effects on land use, energy policies, and the environment. Decisions by county commissioners to bar the extension of public transit to job-rich economic activity centers in suburban counties and instead spend their transportation dollars on repairing and expanding the nation’s roads have serious mobility implications for central city residents. Together, all these transportation decisions shape United States metropolitan area, growth patterns, physical mobility, and economic opportunities. These same transportation policies have also aided, and in some cases, subsidized, racial, economic, and environmental inequities as evidenced by the segregated housing and spatial layout of our central cities and suburbs.
Excerpted from Highway Robbery: Transportation Racism & New Routes To Equity, edited by Robert Bullard, Glenn S. Johnson, and Angel O. Torres
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