Why Gridlock is Killing Our Cities
Why Gridlock is Killing Our Cities... And How Smart Infrastructure Development Will Save Them
CityFi co-founder Gabe Klein joined a robust conversation around the overwhelming costs of outdated transportation models at last month’s Smart Regions Congress in Washington, DC.
In a panel entitled Intelligent Transportation, Systems, and Infrastructure in Smart Regions, Klein said, "Single occupancy vehicles are bankrupting our people, our communities and our government agencies.”
Klein, who is former Commissioner of the Chicago and Washington DC Departments of Transportation, said he founded CityFi to solve 21st century transportation challenges.
“Cities and regions must put people first in decision-making, and utilize new models of technology tools to deliver triple-bottom line results,” Klein said. “Up to now,” he said, “Technology has been an afterthought. We need to build the right infrastructure with new technologies.”
“The successful suburban and rural towns will be the ones that bring back their downtowns. We can do it by utilizing new technologies and smart policy. Policy is the hard part,” Klein said.
Klein explained why our addiction to cars is bankrupting our society. “Americans are spending up to 53 percent of their incomes to own a car. Governments are spending up to 90 percent of their budgets on transportation.”
Klein pointed out that in the US, we are spending $10 million per mile to build and maintain interstates with money we don’t have. "We are facing an affordability crisis at every level,” Klein said.
Klein said the solutions must start at the local level and work regionally, focused on active transportation and not on building more parking. The panel agreed that cities, states and regions must embrace autonomous transportation in order to grow their economies and improve quality of life.
“The more the private and public sector can understand the efficiencies and benefits of sharing smart solutions and even contracts, the faster and better we can solve these problems,” Klein said.
The Smart Regions Congress was presented by Venture Smarter, a technology and strategy company focused on smart governance.
Venture Smarter's Regional Smart Cities Initiative supports interdisciplinary and interagency efforts to develop technology and process planning standards at the local, county, state, and federal level; to educate and align leaders around available resources; and to understand and address pressing problems in urban, suburban, and rural areas. The core mission is to improve the quality of life across the nation while alleviating strained municipal budgets using smart technologies and strategies.