Over the weekend, we, like many, witnessed the brutal reality of state-sanctioned violence in the United States. All of us at NACTO are sickened and outraged by the police killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis. Nichols’ encounter with the police began with a traffic stop, underscoring the many ways in which racism, police violence, and structural inequity are transportation problems.
As planners, engineers, and policymakers, we cannot turn a blind eye to injustice. That’s why we call on cities, states, and the federal government to eliminate most traffic stops and transportation-based interactions with law enforcement, and to shift traffic safety resources to more effective and equitable strategies.
But to create transportation systems that are truly safe and equitable, leaders must embed an anti-racist approach to all transportation decision-making, from funding and project prioritization to hiring and procurement. We cannot simply wait for change; we must act now to create a world where freedom of mobility isn’t just an ideal for some, but a reality for all.
About the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
NACTO is an association of 95 major North American cities and transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. The organization’s mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life. To learn more, visit nacto.org or follow us on Twitter at @NACTO.
Alexander Engel | [email protected]
Billy Richling | [email protected]
This statement is from NACTO, without a primary author.