In 1937, the Indiana General Assembly declared a new state motto: “The crossroads of America.”
But despite the nostalgic images this may bring to mind of Industrial Age locomotives traversing the United States, the phrase has always referred to Indiana’s position at the intersection of major highways. In 1937, this primacy of location for automobile transit made Indiana crucial to the American economy, a major caretaker of the key to the future.
But automobile transit is no longer the key to the future. Accessible and carbon-neutral public transportation is.
If Hoosiers fail to recognize this truth, we will abdicate the right to call our state “the crossroads of America.” To be a “crossroads” means to be where the innovation is. When it comes to transportation innovation, Indiana is several steps behind. When it comes to acting ethically to preserve our collective future, Indiana is many steps behind.
The Indianapolis hub of the Sunrise Movement, therefore, calls on our state to embrace a vision of Public Transit for All Hoosiers by 2030. There isn’t much time for Indiana to do what’s necessary to protect the health of Hoosier workers; to secure our children’s future and their ability to meaningfully participate in a post-carbon economy; and to heed the leadership of Indigenous and youth activists (and Indigenous youth activists) in behaving as if we truly believe in the unambiguous findings of climate scientists.
But there is still time. Read more at bit.ly/transitforall.
Emma Jane LaPlante, Carmel