T4America Blog

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VIDEO: How an obscure federal measure justifies the hefty price tag of destructive, divisive roadway projects

Our newest video, part of Divided by Design, helps explain how federal guidance known as value of time gets used every day to justify the cost of building incredibly expensive highways (or additional highway lanes) that divide our communities, produce more congestion and pollution, and ultimately make it harder to get around in nearly every way.

Our new Divided by Design report examines how the transportation models, policies, and practices we use today took root in the highway era, and they continue to inflict the most harm on people of color. Value of time is just one example of the outdated tools transportation planners and engineers use today that perpetuate harm.

When moving vehicles quickly on all roads is the number one goal for transportation agencies, agencies focus on time savings to drivers at the expense of nearly every other type of user or activity. Value of time encourages agencies to increase speeds and eliminate congestion at all costs, but its emphasis on vehicle speed alone ultimately leads to longer trip times and divided communities.

It’s time for a more equitable approach to transportation. Watch our new video, and read our report Divided by Design.


  1. D Wieb

    11 months ago

    In what Harrison Ford said was his most challenging role (as Linus Larrabee in the 1995 movie Sabrina) he uses a helicopter to save time and still has no time to look out the window. We have allowed ourselves to be caught up in a rat race (an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit) with the evolution of modern transportation infrastructure. It has produced big box stores to the extreme detriment of local independent businesses, and it necessitates freeway travel for each simple errand.

    Who enjoys this kind of lifestyle?

  2. Christopher Keller

    11 months ago

    A rare look behind the curtain of Transportation Planning….