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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Research Approach." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Racial Equity, Black America, and Public Transportation, Volume 1: A Review of Economic, Health, and Social Impacts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26710.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Research Approach." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Racial Equity, Black America, and Public Transportation, Volume 1: A Review of Economic, Health, and Social Impacts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26710.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Research Approach." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Racial Equity, Black America, and Public Transportation, Volume 1: A Review of Economic, Health, and Social Impacts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26710.
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5   To identify, document, and categorize the nature of transportation and land-use-policy impacts in this past century, the research team has consulted in the academic and grey literature. This literature review identifies emerging sources that shed light on the historical and present-day social, economic, and health impacts of transportation and land-use planning/policy on Black people in the United States. The research team used standard academic tools to facilitate the search, including Google Scholar, the Transport Research International Documentation data- base, Web of Science, and other scholarly databases. Table 1 shows a summary of the types of policies, practices, impacts, and sources documented in this report. Importantly, it is not possible to cleanly categorize all policies and practices into one impact category, as almost all can be construed as having economic, health, and social effects (Massey et al. 1987; Massey and Denton 1993; Bullard 2000). Throughout this report, comple- mentary sources are provided in callout boxes to further recommend literature, mixed-media artifacts, and biographies of Black scholars, thought leaders, activists, and professionals whose work and lives have been committed to advocating for mobility justice. C H A P T E R   2 Research Approach

6 Racial Equity, Black America, and Public Transportation Economics Transportation’s origins in slavery as capital interest The dark history of transportation innovation and expansion reveals how many of the systems, processes, and protocols known to be standard practice in transportation planning, today, stem from systems that facilitated violence on both Black people and nature. Cause Racist outcomes and inequities in transportation in the United States stem from the interests and ideologies deriving from slavery. Impact Transportation policies have facilitated economic disinvestment from neighborhoods that are historically, and currently, inhabited by Black people while simultaneously prioritizing land-use practices that spur white flight and redistribute infrastructure investments to predominantly white neighborhoods. Discriminatory housing policies contributed to the growth of sprawl and deprived Black families of opportunities to generate wealth Federal housing and transportation policy are both implicated in perpetuating marginalizing economic, social, and health effects on Black communities. Cause The legacy of racism and inequity in the United States has led to decades of housing discrimination both caused and supported by transportation-investment priorities. Impact Millions benefited from the low-cost homeownership enabled by the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) at the expense of Black households, who were discriminated against and disenfranchised through racist justifications regarding “undesirability” and the fear of the devaluation of land and real estate by virtue of the presence of Black people. Transportation policies supported deconcentration and white flight while devastating Black communities The understanding of the origins of white flight, however, will add relevant context to present-day iterations. Cause There is a direct link between deconcentration via white flight and the systematic disinvestment and neglect of Black neighborhoods and their infrastructure. Impact The impacts of the prioritization of white comfort meant low-wealth communities and Black communities were devastated and continue to experience generations of scarcity, deficit-related disparities, and intracommunity strain. White flight’s influence on transit-network design Many postwar rail and bus systems were designed to run through Black communities or to exclude Black communities from traditionally white suburban enclaves. Cause Present-day decisions continue to reproduce the inequities of the past. Impact The possibility of dramatic and unwanted change in public space as the result of new transportation infrastructure has led many Black people to entirely distrust new facility construction. Employment siting and spatial mismatch Differences in travel-mode use correlate to mismatch between Black workers and locations of job opportunities. Cause Increasingly suburban jobs are relatively inaccessible within a reasonable travel time and cost. Impact Black residents located in urban areas experience poor employment outcomes because of the combination of job suburbanization and housing discrimination. Health Environmental racism creates inequitable health impacts The policies, practices, and decisions made by local, state, and government officials related to the placement of toxic transportation facilities, highways, and other industrial land uses are rooted in and continue the legacy of anti-Black racism. Cause Impact Commonplace notions of public health have historically failed to acknowledge, and have even disregarded, specific health contexts relevant to Black people. Proximity to high-traffic roadways affects nearby air quality, increases noise exposure, introduces visual intrusions, and increases crash risk in Black neighborhoods. Policies and Practices Impact Description Examples Table 1. Transportation and land-use-policy and planning impacts on Black people in the United States.

Research Approach 7   Toxic industries’ immediate harm to Black communities Proximity to highways and main roads cause generational health implications Commuter- and pedestrian- focused pathways Pandemic-era transportation policy and planning changes have disproportionately affected Black communities In general, Black people have been significantly more likely to be exposed to industrial hazards than white people and that exposure has negative effects on health and neighborhood safety. Transportation infrastructures and roadways are built to expedite travel of wealthy suburban people to and through urban centers, at the expense of low- wealth Black communities. Black communities are increasingly at risk of traffic-related fatalities. As COVID-19 spread across the United States, traffic and transit ridership plummeted. Transportation planners responded to these changes in kind, often in ways that disproportionately affected Black people. Cause Impact Cause Impact Cause Impact Cause Impact Oil and gas refineries, among others, capitalize on low-cost land and approved toxic-waste production. Black people are more likely to live in “fence-line” communities where they are directly exposed to elevated levels of benzene, hydrogen sulfide, formaldehyde, ozone, and volatile organic compounds, which can cause cancer, birth defects, and chronic conditions like asthma. Heavy automobile and/or truck traffic. Highways generate noise and air pollution, create visual intrusions, and affect community cohesion. Black people are disproportionately impacted by the ramifications of transportation development. Inadequate, unsafe infrastructure and lack of safe and efficient travel choices. Black people are at higher risk of hospitalizations for pedestrian-related injuries and are more likely to be killed. Commuters that had no choice but to commute via public transit during the pandemic were faced with longer waits, longer travel times, and crowded buses as they attempted to complete daily tasks. The negative effects of reduced service resulted in many Black workers struggling to juggle longer and less certain commute times with concerns about their health. Social Investment-induced displacement Transportation policing actively harms Black people Purple lining prioritizes white comfort and perpetuates racist planning practices The legacy of harmful land-use and planning practices continues in the form of revitalization and development plans that increase property values and cost of living, which further deepen disparities experienced by Black communities and create dire displacement burdens. In addition to being excluded from the benefits of new transportation investments, Black people in the United States are routinely and disproportionately subjected to harassment, violence, arrest, and death at the hands of law enforcement. As cities gentrify and white people move into historically Black neighborhoods, Black people have often had to watch as the needs of the newcomers are quickly addressed over the outstanding priorities of the current residents. Cause Impact Cause Impact Cause Impact While investments are made in the interest of low-wealth communities of color, they revitalize neighborhoods to the extent that they become more attractive to people who do not currently live there. Gentrification and displacement of Black residents who do not experience benefits of transit-related development and investments. Increased police presence and expansion of policing roles to enforce traffic laws on roadways, in streets, and on transit systems. The result of law enforcement’s widespread focus on criminalizing quality-of-life disparities has been a dramatic increase in resources for policing juxtaposed against dramatic decreases in funding for programs and interventions that would actually improve quality of life in the Black communities that are heavily policed, creating a downward spiral of disadvantage and incarceration. Prioritization and standardization of white comfort and the ways that white people prefer to move in and through the historically Black neighborhoods they newly inhabit. The needs of Black people have been ignored/deprioritized; there has been cultural erasure and co-optation of Black neighborhoods/public space. Black people have been forced to adhere to white standards of movement. Policies and Practices Impact Description Examples Table 1. (Continued).

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An overall objective of the transit community is to help develop an enhanced and more inclusive approach to public transportation planning and decision making. Public transportation planners have a critical role in addressing and correcting many of the problems caused by a 20th- and 21st-century transportation sector that severely impacted and, in some cases, destroyed Black communities in the building of today’s transportation systems and network.

The TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program's TCRP Research Report 236: Racial Equity, Black America, and Public Transportation, Volume 1: A Review of Economic, Health, and Social Impacts reviews the literature and summarizes common practices of the 20th and 21st centuries that had significant economic, health, and social impacts, and the racial gaps that emerged as a result of transportation inequities, deliberate actions, policies, and projects.

The objective of Volume 1 is to document the extent of the damage that has been done to Black communities as a result of transportation decisions and actions. Volume 2 will demonstrate a methodology to estimate how much it would cost to redress those damages. Volumes 3 and 4 will provide tools for elected and appointed officials and other stakeholder groups to engage effectively in the arena of transportation policy, planning, and funding at all levels of government.

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