The Black Budget
I sometimes suspect that China, for all the hue and cry of this being the “Chinese century” and how cities like Shanghai represent the future, is actually going to look obsolete and untenable in a number of decades (in a sort of Kunstlerian way, and the future really belongs to places like Denmark.
Via City Fix comes this interesting number:
“Last Thursday, the Danish government agreed to invest 94 billion kroner ($16 billion) to improve the nation’s roads, railways and bike lanes by 2020.
Traffic Minister Lars Barfoed was quoted by The Copenhagen Post as saying, “The shape of the agreement is clear: two-thirds green, one-third black,” meaning that most of the budget will go towards public transit infrastructure and the rest will be spent on asphalt road projects.
The U.S., by contrast, does things a little differently:
Government regulations and spending priorities have favored driving as the means of moving people and products since the Eisenhower administration and the advent of the Interstate Highway System. More than 80 percent of transit money from gas taxes supports highways and bridges, with the remainder, less than 20 percent, allocated for mass transit. Moreover, federal contributions to highway projects often cover more than 80 percent of the total construction costs, compared with only 50 percent of the typical cost for a transit system. Rail freight, which uses one-third as much energy per mile as trucking to ship a pound of cargo, has no federal funding at all.
In other news, Amsterdam residents on two-wheels have now eclipsed those on four.
People are using their bikes just a bit more than their cars, the figures from 2005-2007 show. Inhabitants of Amsterdam used their bikes .87 times per day during that time, while they used their cars .84 times a day. Amsterdam measured the traffic on its inner-city ring road, and found car trips falling nearly 15 percent since 1990, while bike trips during that same time period rose 36 percent.
One of the reasons: “restrictive parking practices enacted since the 1990’s.” Who says you need congestion pricing?
This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 at 4:30 pm and is filed under Energy, Etc.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.