Outcomes of the Federal Highway Program: Inequality and Polarization
An article by Melissa de Witte introduces The Road to Inequality: How the Federal Highway Program Polarized America and Undermined Cities, a new book by Clayton Nall.
The main premise of the book: that the federal highway program of the 1950s enabled residential migration at a scale that polarized the nation between liberal cities and more conservative suburban areas. "In turn, this polarization created partisan differences about how to implement transportation policy – think highways, mass transit and trains – in communities across the country," writes de Witte.
The bulk of the article is devoted to an interview with Nall, with a conversation that delves into the inspiration for the book, myths of transportation policy, and the stakes for the country in the ongoing political debate about how the nation prioritizes transportation investments.