Questioning the auto-motives behind the polling site closure debate

28 Mar

The closing of polling stations around the Omaha area has sparked an important discussion about assumptions related to auto accessibility. Not everyone in Omaha has access to a car—either by necessity or choice—to get to polling stations, buy groceries, get their kids to school, or get to work. Based on 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) data for the City of Omaha, 15,208 households – 10% of all households in the City – have no auto access (see below map).  As the Baby Boomer population ages and younger generations and others choose less auto-centric lifestyles, setting policies and practices that assume auto ownership is increasingly problematic. We need to make public and other modes of transportation a viable option for everyone so they can easily vote, shop, learn and work.

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(map produced using ESRI ArcGIS.  1 dot=1 household without access to a vehicle.  Data from 2006-2010 American Community Survey [ACS] 5-year estimates.)

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