The Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation (CART) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community advocacy organization located in Louisville KY. CART was founded in 1992 and is a vocal force in advocating for transportation planning for the Louisville Metropolitan Area, Southern Indiana and Kentucky.
“CART promotes environmentally sustainable, socially just, multi-modal transportation that provides affordable access and regional connections to all race and income groups.”
Why We Care:
Our transportation system affects all aspects of our lives. The system includes every bit of infrastructure we use to move around; from sidewalks and crosswalks to bicycle lanes, roads, bridges, and bus service. It also includes infrastructure for moving frieght including railroads, airports, water-based infrastructure like locks and river ports, as well as surface facilities for light and heavy trucks. The day to day structure, function, and maintenance of the system impacts how our taxes are spent, the choices we make about land use, the flow of capital investments, and the very essence of our neighborhoods and culture.
Out transportation system in Louisville today is designed almost exclusively for automobiles and freight trucks and the vast majority of public money is spent on building and maintaining the roads, highways and bridges they drive on. The sprawling pattern of auto-centric development in Jefferson County over the last 65 years has left the urban core behind, and created communities segregated by race and income. Many American cities developed in the same way. Unlike Louisville some cities have recognized the need for change. That need is expressed well in the 2010 Smart Growth manual: (1)
“Many of the current social, economic, environmental and psychological ills are the result of how we have built our cities since World War II. Single Use zoning, massive road construction, and urban disinvestment have turned a nation of ecologically sustainable neighborhoods into a collection of far-flung monocultures connected only by the prosthetic device of the automobile. We learn from biology that monocultures cannot thrive. Yet most municipalities still promote policies that favor single use zoning and free flowing traffic rather than mixed use, pedestrian oriented urbanism.”
This is what CART wants to help change.
Our current transportation system is energy intensive and that energy is currently supplied by fossil fuels. The combustion of fossil fuels impacts local air quality, particularly in the urban core, and a city the size of Louisville adds a significant amount carbon dioxide and other pollutants to the atmosphere. The need to reduce airborne toxins and CO2 is not only the ethical thing to do, failing to take action exposes us to great risks. There are health and safety risks for failing to mitigate against air pollution and climate change but there are economic risks as well. At some point in the not to distant future when the severity of climate change is finally recognized, the high cost of fuels today will become even higher when carbon is regulated. If we are still a sprawling auto-centric city, then the cost of adaptation may be beyond our reach.
Our advocacy efforts are for the benefit of individual people, wealthy and poor, living in the Louisville area and the agro-ecosystems in our few remaining undeveloped areas. Giant automobile companies, railroad companies, freight companies and other business interests lobby the local and state governments to make policy with their interests in mind but individuals do not have as powerful a voice and their needs are often neglected. We try to fill that gap.
(1) Duanny, A. Speck, J London, M. (2010) The Smart Growth Manual. McGraw-Hill
- Public Transportation
- Social Justice
- Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship
- Walking as Transportation
- Bicycling as Transportation
- Accessible mobility for all
- Rail Transportation – the most efficient way to move goods and people.
- Car Free Living – including World Car Free Day and CART’s Car Free Guides
- Ohio River Bridges Project – the most expensive road “building” project in the history of the American Midwest
- Energy Policy
- Traffic Justice – the radical idea that traffic law should protect all people, not just motorists
- Urban Design – including Land Use, Transit Oriented Development, Complete Streets, Safe Routes to School, Sidewalks, and Bicycle accommodations.
Read them here.
Board of Directors
- David Coyte, President
- Phil Adams, Vice President
- A. Thomas Johnson, Treasurer
- Terrell Holder, Secretary
- Bill Wright