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CARS Bill a bit Clunky

July 31, 2009

The latest news from our esteemed federal government is that the CARS bill, better known as the “Cash for Clunkers” bill, has exhausted its funds in a quarter of the time it was expected to take. Cash for Clunkers gives a $4,500 incentive to drivers of old, polluting vehicles wishing to take them off the road.

Here’s the catch: this money has to be pumped directly back into a new car by its recipients. Granted, this new car is required to be less polluting, which is a plus. But why isn’t there an option to take that money and put it towards two options which are exponentially more eco-friendly: bikes and transit?

Not only are these two ways of getting around more eco-friendly, but communities which utilize them extensively are generally revered throughout the country and the world. Transit friendly cities (New York, Chicago) and bike friendly cities (Portland) enjoy great reputations and loads of tourists. Meanwhile, our fair burg enjoys a reputation of being “car centric” – in my opinion, one which is not fully merited, yet one which people repeat ad nauseum and with the same tone they use to describe child molesters. We have half a century of auto-uber-alles spending to thank for this, a period during which the feds spent hundreds of billions on interstate highways. Will we live to see the day when serious federal money is spent on more environmentally and community friendly options?

I recognize the importance of making cars more eco-friendly. But if we’re truly going to become stewards of the environment and conscientious community members, we have to break away from our car-only pattern of federal spending.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 1, 2009 12:06 am

    Hear, hear Drew! I feel like car-free individuals get the short end of the stick on this deal.

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