US spends billions on roads rather than public transport in ‘climate time bomb’

(The Guardian, 29 Feb 2024) New analysis finds money from Biden’s $1.2tn infrastructure bill has overwhelmingly been spent on widening highways for cars.

Roads, roads and more roads. The US is continuing to spend billions of dollars on expanding enormous highways rather than fund public transport, with a landmark infrastructure bill lauded by Joe Biden only further accelerating the dominance of cars at the expense, critics say, of communities and the climate.

Since the passage of the enormous $1.2tn bipartisan infrastructure law in 2021, hailed by Biden as a generational effort to upgrade the US’s crumbling bridges, roads, ports and public transit, money has overwhelmingly poured into the maintenance and widening of roads rather than improving the threadbare network of bus, rail and cycling options available to Americans, a new analysis has found.

Of reported funds dispersed to states, more than half – around $70bn – have been spent on the resurfacing and expansion of highways, a process that researchers have consistently found only spurs greater use of cars and therefore more congestion.

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The Guardian, 29 Feb 2024: US spends billions on roads rather than public transport in ‘climate time bomb’