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Transportation Planning

Transportation planning has many social implications. As noted in Chapter 11, much of the conflict over Urban Renewal had to do with the taking of land for urban expressways, actions that necessarily displace people and that change or destroy the basic fabric of neighborhoods. How a region's transportation system is structured and how transportation is priced affect people's access to work, to public services, and to a whole range of activities.

If you were a poor person located in the central city and without access to an automobile, and the only job you could find was in the suburbs reachable only by a two- or three-hour bus trip, that might be sufficient to keep you unemployed. This problem has been well understood for at least half a century, but it is not easily solved. A public transportation system that offered good access between any two sections of a metropolitan area instead of the more common system which is largely radial and oriented to the central business district would be spectacularly expensive.

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