If Congestion is a Sign of Vitality, Kansas City Must Be Suffering

Chuck Marohn opines on the oddly empty, and unnecessarily wide, streets of Kansas City, Missouri. With no traffic to speak of, Marohn argues that by building roads simply to move cars quickly, "We're fighting a beast that does not exist."

With little traffic apparent to Marohn during his jaunts through the city, you would think that Kansas City's streets represent the ultimate transportation engineering success story. While they might, they certainly don't make for a lively and attractive downtown. 

"While there are many things that really depress me about America's cities, particularly those in the Midwest," says Marohn, "there is one thing that stands out above the rest: our misunderstanding of what a street is. If you were from Kansas City, you would be excused for believing that streets are corridors for moving automobiles quickly from one parking lot to another. You would be excused because that is all you see."

Marohn makes note of the ramifications of such an investment, such as wasting valuable developable space, limiting the overall desirability of the downtown and the construction of an inefficient and unsafe transportation system, and offers some ideas for how to fix the problem. 

Full Story: Streets with no cars


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