UTTRI associated faculty Professor Shoshanna Saxe and Dr. Kristen MacAskill of the University of Cambridge co-wrote “Stop Building More Roads” subtitled “There’s a right way to do infrastructure. Why does America get it wrong?” published as an Opinion in The New York Times, July 8, 2020.
Their discussion of post-pandemic recovery spending emphasizes that “recovery comes in phases” and that careful planning is necessary to make investments meaningful.
Short term, socially oriented projects create the political and economic space to tackle the next, much larger phase.
They also stress the need to examine past recovery mistakes such as beginning large projects that don’t have the funding necessary to follow through to completion.
We need to pair immediate spending with a discussion about what are worthy infrastructure investments, along with a commitment to long-term follow-through.
The authors state that “the emphasis on road development is outdated” and that “road construction is environmentally destructive, and it promotes urban sprawl, congestion, air pollution and inequality.”
They see “an opportunity to build back better.”