How Transportation Became the Latest Victim of America’s Culture Wars

Congress cannot agree on how to reauthorize — let alone modernize — federal surface transportation legislation because the bitterly polarized “culture wars” have taken hold of the debate, explained Rob Atkinson in the Washington Post. The urban and liberal “congestion caucus” claims to be an infrastructure supporter, but it supports only what it deems the right kinds of infrastructure: public transit to get people out of suburbs. The conservative “liberty caucus” also claims to support infrastructure, but only insofar as it is for roads, and only as long as the federal government’s role shrinks. If we are to have any hope of shifting infrastructure policy back toward solution-oriented pragmatism, it is incumbent on true infrastructure supporters to call out both sides’ arguments as flawed and damaging to the national interest.