Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg mentioned he needed to introduce a wide range of new, “sexy” concepts concerning transportation in a Rolling Stone interview printed on Friday.
“There’s nothing I love more than bringing attention to an unglamorous topic that deserves more attention,” Buttigieg mentioned, in response to the interviewer noting that he was bringing identify worth to a governmental division that’s typically ignored. “Even as mayor, I was an evangelist for smart sewer technology because it was, in my view, really exciting. So I’m relishing the opportunity to do that with a lot of things in transportation, some of them well understood and already considered fairly sexy in the policy world, some of them pretty obscure.”
During his time as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg signed off on a transfer to upgrade the city’s sewer system with so-called “smart” monitoring sensors that would detect water congestion. Ultimately, this saved $100 million that will have in any other case gone in direction of changing pipes.
Buttigieg instructed Rolling Stone that he needed to use the identical contemporary considering to his new position, including that infrastructure wanted to be a bipartisan precedence because of America’s “slipping competitiveness” compared to “countries that have not hesitated to make big infrastructure investments.”
As examples of deliberate priorities, he listed the Department of Transportation’s dedication to constructing electrical automobile charging stations and infrastructure like full streets — roadways that aren’t simply drivable, but additionally walkable and bikeable.
These adjustments may have an “intimate connection” with the surroundings, he mentioned: “If they can encourage some of that mode-shifting that recognizes that not every trip needs to be in a single-occupant vehicle, that has a climate impact.”
“I can’t think of maybe a less-sexy phrase for some people than ‘land use,’” Buttigieg joked. “But when I’m thinking about automated vehicles and the challenges that presents, it’s not just the safety and the operational questions of the vehicle; it’s what happens in a world where we don’t need nearly as many surface parking lots because most people experience cars as a service rather than as a possession.”
Changing Americans’ attitudes about vehicles as possessions aligns with earlier remarks Buttigieg has made about amping up public transportation throughout the nation.
In February, Buttigieg mentioned that he needed to help funding in high-speed rail, arguing that there was no motive why the U.S. needed to “settle for less” when in comparison with different nations with extra developed practice techniques, just like the U.Okay. and Japan.
Read the total interview here.
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