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We keep producing and consuming more and more “stuff.” How can we do a better job of improving the quality of our lives? Our New Economy program is finding answers.
North Houston Highway Improvement Project, Texas
Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, is fast-growing and sprawling, and as of 2012 had more highway lane-miles per person than all but two cities in the country. The city’s overreliance on cars has created big problems for residents. Long trips on congested highways mean that Houston workers have the second-most expensive commutes in the country. The metro area’s roads are also the deadliest in the nation, and according to the Houston Chronicle the “death toll is the equivalent of three fully-loaded 737s crashing each year at Houston's airports, killing all aboard.” Vehicle pollution is also harming air quality in Houston, which in 2019 was ranked ninth-worst in the country for high smog days by the American Lung Association.
North Spokane Corridor, Spokane, Washington
The North Spokane Corridor (NSC) is a proposed highway that will connect Interstate 90, which runs East-West through the center of Spokane, to U.S. Route 395 north of the city. The cost of the project is $1.5 billion, the vast majority of which will come from state funding sources. The NSC has been in the works for decades – and has been a source of controversy the entire time, because it will slice through neighborhoods, including the historic community of Hillyard, and result in more than 500 homes being displaced. Hillyard business owners worry that the new highway will damage the district that they have worked to improve in recent years.
Nursing home safety during COVID: PPE shortages
Thousands of nursing homes nationwide are dealing with horrific shortages of masks, gowns and other items they need to protect residents, workers and the broader community from COVID-19. And seven months into this pandemic, the shortages have actually become much worse.
Paseo del Volcan Extension, New Mexico
The idea of building a road through the desert northwest of Albuquerque first surfaced in 1990 as a way to enable sprawling development. Getting local, state and federal financing for a road through the vacant region was crucial to the profit dreams of Westland Development, the private company formed to manage an enormous tract of land initially granted in 1692 by the king of Spain to New World settlers.
Paying off Student Debt During COVID-19
Worried about paying for student loans during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here are 5 potential ways to reduce your payments.
Pennsylvania Turnpike Expansion
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) is struggling financially, with $11 billion in debt as of 2016. To reduce its debt, some state officials are seeking to end the PTC’s legally mandated annual payment of $450 million to support state public transit – a move that would constitute a major blow to state transit needs. Despite its tight finances, the PTC is undertaking an expensive and unnecessary highway widening across most of the state.
PIRG Consumer Watchdog
For more than 40 years, we’ve been educating consumers how to protect themselves and their rights. We fight to get dangerous products off store shelves, to end exploitative practices, and to ensure a level playing field in the marketplace. And we advocate for new rules, institutions and policies to defend consumers from the economic and political power of special interests. Right now, our Watchdog team is focused on consumer threats from data breaches to dangerous toys.
Your donation supports U.S. PIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.