Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

Ways to Improve Urban Transportation

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Traffic author Tom Vanderbilt asks for suggestions on Slate for ways to improve urban transportation.

The solution is simple, if difficult to get to from here. Consider the parameters: Mass transit is ineffective and inefficient because of the density (or more accurately the lack thereof) at which most Americans live. Thus, the solution is to increase density until mass transit is effective, which would involve that which the public finds so abhorrent: A change in our collective lifestyle.

As such, any efforts to change that – increasing subsidies of mass transit, decreasing subsidies of automotive transit, increasing land taxes, etc – will be met with political adversity and be dead in the water or, like strict land use plans, shelved indefinitely or immediately undermined with loopholes.

I mean, we could wait until all land is developed a la New Jersey, but, y’know… New Jersey.

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