Holistic Transportation Planning

This piece from Bloomberg architecture critic James Russell calls for a unified approach to building the nation's transportation infrastructure.

"I fear that 'shovel ready' means boondoggles like the E- 470 beltway, a six-lane, 46-mile arc through empty high-desert grasslands dotted with new subdivisions east of Denver. Cars cruise the wide-open toll road at 80 miles per hour."

"Touted as essential to the metro area's growth, this land developers' delight hasn't lightened loads on more centrally located highways. It's just rearranged growth patterns, scattering splotches of development over an unimaginably large landscape. New residents depend on long beltway commutes by car."

"We can't do better now, the lobbying legions say, we need to start the bulldozers fast. Translation: No bridge to nowhere will be left behind."

"What's wrong with America's way of building transportation has long been known. We segregate roads, mass transit, railways and air. Each has its own pot of money. It's no one's job to assemble a transportation system that offers the right travel mode for the task at hand."

"So much is made of the nation's neglect of infrastructure, yet the U.S. actually is spending record sums on it."

"We don't make progress because the nation fails to lay out new communities so they can be efficiently served by means other than the auto. A start would be to group people-intensive colleges and commercial centers as hubs along corridors served by transit and walkable streets."

Full Story: Stop the Boondoggles, Six-Lane Highways, MPOs: James S. Russell


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