Multilane roundabout in Southfield, MI, Image by Sbettin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As we enter the next and most crucial part of the 21st century, America is still grappling with problems that have persisted for decades. Transportation is one of the biggest sectors that has contributed to these long-term problems, but as Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg has pointed out, transportation can also provide the solutions.

Federal, state and local agencies can promote and use transportation to solve many challenges such as: improving safety, creating equity, addressing climate change while being resilient against its effects, and bringing businesses and communities together to create that sense of belonging and economic opportunity, all while being…

Pete Buttigieg, former mayor, DNC chair candidate, presidential candidate and current bestselling author, added a new title to his list of accolades last week: Secretary-designate of Transportation. As a supporter of Buttigieg since his DNC chair run in 2018, and as a transportation professional, this is the best scenario I could have possibly imagined short of Buttigieg winning the Democratic nomination and the presidency.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have made it clear that the focus of their administration will be to “build back better.” The announcement for Buttigieg, a rare solo affair with a more typical…

CC Image by Ken Lund on Flickr

I’ve seen lots of people weigh in on the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, from excessive use of force by a white police officer (who had a previous history of brutality and violence) and the unrest that has followed in Minneapolis. For me (and I am sure others), it makes me think of Michael Brown and Ferguson in 2014. But it also brings up the contrast with what happened in South Bend, Indiana in June 2019 after a similar incident, or more importantly what didn’t happen.

Pete Buttigieg, then mayor of South Bend in his third and…

On Friday, presidential candidate and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg unveiled his infrastructure plan: “Building for the 21st Century.” Most media outlets pointed to the overall highlights, but what separates his plan from his competition is the level of detail, specifically the detail of what is proposed for highways and bridges.

I highly recommend that everyone read the entire plan, but the key components that I appreciate the most as a transportation professional are as follows:

  • Highway Trust Fund funding reform
  • Cutting 50% of the backlog of critical road repairs by 2030
  • Repairing 50% of structurally deficient bridges by…

CC Image courtesy of Joe Brusky on Flickr

Just like South Bend mayor and 2020 presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, student loan debt is personal for me because I am one of the 43 million Americans with federal student loan debt. Together we make up $1.4 trillion of debt owed to the federal government, and that’s without factoring interest in which also must be paid. The system is truly broken and unfair to college graduates and is in desperate need of reform before our economy is crippled by this crisis. …

CC Image courtesy of Washington State Department of Transportation on Flickr

Infrastructure is a forgotten topic in this country. When you see polling of important issues to Americans, it is usually left off the list entirely so it has to be manually added in the “Other” category if provided. Yet, we all realize that without roads specifically, we wouldn’t be able to travel as efficiently nor receive the goods and services that we do now.

I don’t believe flying cars will exist in the mainstream in my lifetime, so that means over the next 40 years or so, we’ll need to figure out what to do about our unsafe and crumbling…

As a millennial mayor of South Bend, Indiana, it’s not a surprise that Pete Buttigieg has embraced roundabouts to help improve his city. Carmel, a city to the south just outside Indianapolis has the most roundabouts for a United States city with 122 in operation and more planned. However, roundabouts still have yet to gain universal acceptance across the rest of the country.

As most know, roundabouts have been proven to be far safer than signalized intersections, reducing fatalities by 90% and are more environmentally friendly due to less vehicle idling time and more available green space. …

Jonathan French

Oregon Trail generation progressive, licensed professional engineer, advocate of roundabouts, transportation funding reform and member of organized labor.

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