Upward Social Mobility is a podcast mini series on navigating American life during COVID and a contentious political climate.
It is November of the year 2020 in the United States. Many Americans are trying to find or define life again. They are struggling with their value systems, and how that orients them in relation to living in this country. Should they aim to be rich? Should they aim to be happy? Should they go woke or broke? Or is America just a pit stop?
The term ’social mobility’ describes how we move through different stages of our lives. In this mini series, we focus on three forms of mobility — physical, income, and transportation. These three forms of mobility are the pillars to upward social mobility in the United States.
Guests featured in this mini series:
- Part 1 | Sam Blake
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- Part 2 | Mariya Frost
Director of the Coles Center for Transportation, Washington Policy Center
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- Part 3 | Chris Cargill
Eastern Washington Office Director, Washington Policy Center
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- Part 4 | Scott Hadzik
Department Chair, Professor, Weber State University Department of Automotive Technology
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Passages from Gridlock by Randall O’Toole
Smart growth vision —
Smart growth is based on the premise that Americans need to drive less to reduce congestion, energy consumption, and environmental impacts. To reduce driving, the vision calls for spending more money on urban transit, intercity rail, and bike/pedestrian facilities. The vision also calls for reducing the average size of lots for single-family homes and increasing the percentage of people who live in multifamily housing or mixed-used developments, both of which are supposed to reduce driving.
Efficiency vision —
Efficiency vision is based on the premise that the resources available for transportation improvements are scarce and should be used as effectively as possible. This vision relies on user fees rather than taxes to pay for transportation. Transportation decisions are made by setting goals (sometimes called performance standards) and ranking transportation projects according to their ability to meet those goals. Goals could include congestion relief, energy savings, pollution reduction, and safety. Reducing driving is not a goal but merely one possible means to attaining some of the other goals. The projects that achieve the goals at the lowest cost are selected.