Carmel, Indiana’s mayor, first elected in 1995, is among the longest serving in the U.S.
He has spent that time trying to harness suburban sprawl that he fears President Trump’s forthcoming infrastructure plan will only exacerbate.
Jim Brainard, a Republican, hasn’t shied away from warning Trump against leaving the Paris climate deal or from entertaining the possibility of President Mike Pence lately (an even worse disaster than Trump, since Pence is a “true believer” in the administration’s immoral and irrational policies, whereas Trump is primarily an opportunist, who will do and say whatever it takes to keep his radical-right base happy).
Now the mayor, known in urban planning circles as a champion of building traffic roundabouts, is voicing concerns about President Trump’s “Rebuilding America” plan. It will likely turn public-private partnerships (P3s) into monopolies operating public infrastructure, while receiving generous tax credits at the expense of taxpayers.
“How do you build something besides sprawl?” Brainard asks.
He emphasized this important reality: “Sprawl is killing cities financially.”
Note from Storm:
Far better than Trump’s plan–which is primarily designed to reward his major campaign contributors, and has little to do with making America great again–would be a true infrastructure renovation plan that leverages the value of existing infrastructure, increasing its capacity, connectivity, and efficiency.
Sure, some new infrastructure is needed. This most important being a national high-speed rail network, which would help bring the USA up to a level of modernity most European countries were at 30 years ago. And not all existing infrastructure needs to be renewed: much of it–such as thousands of obsolete (or never-needed) dams, and dozens of badly-planned urban highways–simply need to be removed.
Photo of Carmel courtesy of the National Life Group.