Sunday, January 20, 2008

Smoke and Mirrors

The other day, Fadela Amara said that her plan for the suburbs would devote 1 billion euros to knocking down the barriers between suburbs and city centers. Yesterday, her special advisor, Mohammed Abdi, said that this amount would be "reserved" from the 4 billion over 10 years promised for transportation under the "Environmental Grenelle" accord. But that money was meant to get people out of their cars and into mass transportation in order to reduce emissions. The money for the suburbs is presumably intended to provide additional mass transportation for people who currently don't travel into the center city at all, either by car or mass transport. Laudable as this measure might be in itself, it isn't going to reduce emissions, hence to take the money out of the sum set aside under the environmental accord is robbing Peter to pay Paul--pure smoke and mirrors.