Letter: Infrastructure for people, by people

March 2, 2023

Affordability and accessibility: two resonant notes which resound throughout all public discourse. Previous entries have highlighted the wealth gap and inequitable, archaic nature of existing funding measures. Indeed, the physical infrastructure of Concord itself is a relic of questionable modern practicality.

The purpose of this entry is not to exhaustively list every pothole, missing drainage line or uneven sidewalk in town. Nor is it here as a hit piece to Concord Public Works or any of the hardworking individuals who keep things running for the rest of us. This is a miniature treatise imploring readers to consider the origin of these road woes – the car-centric system which persists despite the clear socioeconomic losses.

Road maintenance is a never-ending vicious cycle, and represents a significant sum of overall costs. As average car size continues to increase each year, so too does the rate of asphalt erosion. Electric and hybrid variants suffer an additional burden of heavy alkaline batteries. It is a simple fact that no other form of transportation takes as high a toll on its travel medium as does the automobile.

Beyond the realm of pecuniary interests, a transition to a more human-centric model represents advancements in safety and personal social freedom. Fewer cars means fewer accidents; fewer hit-and-runs; fewer lives cut short or severely altered for the worse. Imagine a Concord where every road is safe to walk, run or bike along regardless of age. We already have certain areas which fit this description more than others, but there is still much work to be done.

If we invest in alternative transportation, and focus on people instead of cars, we can achieve a more equitable state of affairs – with far less traffic, to boot! 

Ian Anderson

Elsinore Street