The Republican Party has made its views on transportation clear: highways good, transit and bike shares bad — or at least not worth spending any federal money on.
This is the vision laid out in the recently released GOP platform. It’s intensely anti-urban, anti-transit, opposed to smart growth, and far outside the mainstream.
According to the GOP, the only legitimate federal transportation expense is building highways. The Republicans propose eliminating all federal spending on mass transit, which they call “an inherently local affair.” They would also end all federal funding for high-speed rail, ferries, “bike-share programs, sidewalks, recreational trails, landscaping, and historical renovations.” And forget about finding new revenue to pay for any of these programs: The platform reiterates the party’s longstanding opposition to raising the gas tax, which hasn’t gone up since 1993.
But when it comes to building highways, Republicans don’t want to let anything stand in the way. They want to “reform provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act which can delay and drive up costs for transportation projects.” Look out, sensitive wetlands, there’s a road to nowhere headed your way and — if Republicans get to rewrite NEPA — no stopping it.