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Cox Says Sydney Needs More Freeways

Wendell Cox has diagnosed what he sees as Sydney, Australia's most crippling problem: not enough freeways. Australian developers have taken in America's most vocal supporter of sprawl, who is pushing for more drivability in Sydney.
August 25, 2006, 6am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Cox is a well-known critic of light rail, based on the experience of dozens of US cities. 'The annual cost per new rider of virtually every light rail line built here in the past 20 years has been more than the annual cost of leasing each new commuter a new car. Light rail has no part to play in a transport system, because of its expense. Rapid transit busways virtually equal light rail capacity, at a fraction of the cost.' "

Wendell Cox, invited to Australia by a group of right-leaning think tanks and real estate developers, didn't need too much coercing to bring out some unflattering public transit statistics during his recent visit to Sydney. But the city's light rail system is considered fairly efficient by many officials.

"If inadequate public transport is not the reason, why does Sydney have such transport problems? Cox says the city needs more freeways. Of 30 urban areas in the developed world with a population of more than 3 million, 'Sydney ranks 29th for lane kilometres of freeway per square kilometre. Only London has fewer. Sydney is also relatively poorly served by arterial roads.' "

Cox proposes building more freeways, and though congested streets and freeways can attest to the city's traffic problems, not everyone in Sydney is convinced that building more freeways is the answer.

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Published on Friday, August 18, 2006 in The Sydney Morning Herald
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