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Highway Robbery: Transportation Racism and New Routes to Equity Paperback – 2004

3 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert D. Bullard is the Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. His book, Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality has become a standard text in the environmental justice field. Two of his other books include Confronting Environmental Racism: Voices from the Grassroots (South End Press, 1993) and Highway Robbery (South End Press, 2004).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 245 pages
  • Publisher: South End Press; 1st edition (2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896087042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896087040
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #659,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Lewyn VINE VOICE on June 4, 2005
The basic purpose of this book is to show how our transportation funding system makes the poor (and especially racial minorities) worse off. The book is an anthology of essays, mostly case studies from various cities (including Atlanta, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, San Francisco and New York City).

A few of the more interesting assertions:

*Martin Luther King was writing about transportation issues before his death; in a posthumously published essay, he wrote that public transit is "a valid civil rights issue" because the availability of transit "determines the accessibility of jobs to the black community" (p. 17).

*Discriminatory policies not only affect the balance of spending between highways and transit, but also affect public transit policy. For example, Pittsburgh's planners have given Pittsburgh's white southern suburbs a clean, quiet light rail system, but have given its poorer, blacker East End a louder, more polluting busway system- even though East Enders are more likely to use public transit.

*Even poor drivers lose from our auto-oriented status quo. Families earning less than $14,000 per year after taxes spend 40% of their take home pay on transportation, as opposed to 13% for families earning over $72,000.

*In 1935, families spent 10% of their budgets on transportation. Today, they spend 20% - perhaps explaining why so many people feel financially stressed.

*The claim that highways "pay for themselves" overlooks negative externalities such as the effects of highways on city neighborhoods: poor, carless people get all the air pollution from nearby highways without any of the benefits.

However, some essays in the book are not as well done as others.
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AND poorly written.

I wish I had read the other review, which was very generous.

The scholarship is shallow and lazy, and the writing style is polemical....with little attention to the facts/details.

It's a waste of good paper, both the stuff that it is printed on and the legal tender you have to spend to buy the book.

Be smarter than I was: give it a miss.
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