Here’s a great idea: when people stop driving their cars, build light-rail down the freeways and turn the rest of the freeway space into buildings and parks. Think about what that means.
Despite claims that rail transit can move as many people as a 10-lane freeway, the reality is that the average two-track light-rail line moves about as many people as one-fourth of a freeway lane. None move more than about half a freeway lane.
So suppose we replace our six-lane freeways with the functional equivalent of half a lane. That means our transportation systems will move only about one-twelfth as many people. Who wins? The high-paid singles and double-income no children who can afford to live next to a light-rail station. Who loses? Most families with children and anyone who can’t afford half-million-dollar two-bedroom condos.
The good news is that, so far, no public money has been spent on this. But it won’t be long before some smart-growth planner proposes such a thing.