Eight area advocacy organizations have issued “Chicago’s Sustainable Transportation Platform,” recommending public policies for a better transportation system. Since I’m a paying member of at least two of the eight, and on the mailing list of a well-funded third, I had hoped that maybe a few sensible things would be included. You can decide for yourself which of the ideas are sensible (“Design streets that are safe and convenient for all users.”). Pretty much all of them could be construed as “Create additional jobs and funding opportunities for us and our friends,” but that’s true of most public policy discussions.
I’m mainly concerned about what’s missing, for instance:
- Obtain transit funding from those who benefit from transit service– the owners of land and other privileges in areas served by transit.
- Reduce the number of free and subsidized parking spaces provided at public and nonprofit facilities, including libraries, police stations, educational and medical institutions. Use the resulting revenue to reduce taxes on productive activity.
- Improve transit governance by requiring the majority of governing boards of CTA, Pace, Metra, and RTA to be regular transit users, and no board member who takes fewer than five transit trips in a month can receive pay for that month.