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    That Buick Special is stuck in reverse, man.

    As stated above, we already have a reserved space agenda.

    It comes in the form of massive surface parking lots that consume space that could otherwise be utilized for economic development, housing, and open space.

    It comes in the form of unnecessary degradation to human and natural health.

    What we need is shared space. The problem, of course, is that there are specific investments necessary to enable shared space.

    Rather than careening down the Interstate looking backwards to see where you’re headed, try updating your perspective – dump the Buick Special because it’s a money pit, get something that knowledge has improved over time, and start looking forward again.

    There’s a bright future ahead, but you can’t see it staring in your rear-view mirror.

    Interesting piece today, huh:



    Doing anything but narrowing the roads and widening sidewalks is madness. I once walked from the Metro station to the mall, and it was miserable.



    Can someone please explain to me the bike-lane and bike/ped? Why are they separate? Wouldn’t it be better and not completely bonkers to have them combined into one really nice wide, protected cycle track? And why is there bike/ped path literally right next to a sidewalk? Is the sidewalk inadequate to walk on? Seriously, I can’t figure this out.


    AL M

    Well obviously if there is some sort of transit line (could be anything not necessarily light rail) a certain % will use it. That’s just common sense



    The Indiana tolll road goes bankrupt, and the Borman truck traffic increased. Hmmm. Do any of the bureaucrats see the correlation? I guess not. They don’t drive on the expressway of course I’m not gonna see it



    Living in highway-obsessed Indiana is a nightmare. Transit (what little of it we are allowed to have, since light rail is banned) and inter-city rail are always considered boondoggles while new freeways, stroads, and freeway widening are justifiable no matter what the cost. Our governor even put together a “panel” made up of owners of trucking companies that proposed a second beltway around Indianapolis while eliminating any state support for public transportation (currently 0.5% of INDOT’s budget). All of this money going to the Illiana Tollway and money that would go to the proposed second belt (which needs to go away quickly) could probably come close to building a high-speed rail line between Indianapolis and Chicago, something that is actually needed. The Indiana Toll Road has been a DISASTER, predictably. What makes any public official think that the Illiana Tollway will be any better is beyond me. There is no sense to it from a planning standpoint and from an economic standpoint.



    Adjective: Political. Noun: Platitudes. The noun being the important part. The adjective ‘political’ can be deleted and the meaning of my reply is unchanged.
    “A platitude is a trite, meaningless, or prosaic statement, generally directed at quelling social, emotional, or cognitive unease.”

    Separatist is a proper word to describe it. I am not the only one that uses it. For a quick search engine example:

    As to first they came, I’ve been very clear that I see the war on driving as actually the first battles in a war on personal mobility. You may not like how I chose to get that point across to you, but that doesn’t change anything. The USA isn’t a playground for traffic engineers like the Netherlands. The political power structure in the USA does not care about such things. What they care about is how they can use it to their advantage.



    Lol. “Political?” From the person who uses language like “separatist” and seriously references “First They Came…” in reference to…bicycle infrastructure? Hilarious!



    More political platitudes. Let me know when you’re ready for a real discussion. What you really mean is that the standards don’t reflect your separatist and reserved space agenda.


    C Monroe

    The bankruptcy of the Indiana toll road in the same region and is an alternative to I-80/I-94 should be a wake up call for supporters of this. Another toll road that also diverts traffic from the same highway this toll road is planned to do has filed bankruptcy so lets build another that will be a financial drain.



    This thing can’t be stopped fast enough…unfortunately politcal ambitions get in the way of financial/urban development prudence all to easily – especially when those ambitions are realized using Other People’s Money.


    Andres Dee

    TL:DR: Shut up. We’ll build it, eventually, if certain conditions happen, which won’t, because we didn’t build it.



    The standards are focused on only one mode: Driving a car.

    We need updated standards, ones that continue to support need and desire to continue to roll that Buick Special down the road, but don’t give it priority everywhere its master chooses – particularly dense urban areas.

    When we have sensible standards, perhaps compliance will come more naturally. It is hard to shoe-horn automobile-oriented compliance into settings that are by their very nature non-auto environments.

    As for standards and how we’ve developed and deployed them, this is a vantage point from which to view the question:



    That’s TriMet in the photo!


    R.A. Stewart

    Some read Nineteen Eighty-four as a cautionary tale, some as an instruction manual.



    these studies never include multi-mode transports.

    i have everybody beat. in 1 commute cycle:

    i drive, take a bus, take a train, run, take a citibike, and then take a ferry.


    C Monroe

    That $2.7 billion could fund the new RTAs 4 proposed BRT lines that go way out into the suburbs($500 million), Maybe add a couple more lines(250 million), repave and rebuild some of the bridges and add commuter rail system that connects to midtown and the streetcar downtown.



    Has Streetsblog ever covered Madrid’s ‘Big Dig’?



    What do these budget hawks ever have to say about the police, court and prisons for the unconstitutional drug war? NY’s anti Westway movement’s people seemed quite silent about NY Gov Cuomo’s boasting about building more prisons then ever.


    R.A. Stewart

    Consider the source of this idea. As I’ve said in other contexts–imperiling the fragile economic recovery, hampering the cultural and social renaissance, destroying historic buildings, and disregarding the wishes of … a largely African-American, low-income, and Democratic-leaning city? Features, not bugs.


    R.A. Stewart

    You are less cynical than I am, perhaps. I would have phrased that as “Widening The Edsel Ford is nuts, so I am confident that it will actually come to pass.”


    Brian Howald

    I believe this is expressed best by one of my favorite pieces at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, a protest poster from 1960s freeway revolts in Washington, D.C.:



    Except roads were common long before the automobile. Paved roads were developed before the automobile. More or less modern paved roads were pushed by bicycling clubs. And the automobile came into common man’s hands before government became our centrally planned road builder and while most roads were still dirt. The automobile was well established and growing long before “centrally planned car dependency”

    It might serve you to actually read libertarian/minarchist/an-cap stuff before being so critical. You’ll find terms like that and ‘socialist roads’ rather common. Remember the first thing no matter what the subject to throw at a libertarian is ‘But who will build the roads?’ Thus a disproportionate amount of effort has been put into the topic. It’s there for anyone who wants to read it.

    What actually happened at the time is that people desired to get out of densely packed cities and have a little space of their own. The affordable automobile allowed them to do this. Government back then didn’t have the power it does today. It was decades before it could do much of anything. Best it could do for most of the 20th century in the USA was enrich those in and close to it through road projects.

    Now the political push is cram most everyone that spread out back into the big cities. That is undo what productivity and wealth did for the common man. Today government has sucked up enough power to do it.

    And before you consider the Koch brothers anarcho/minarchist/libertarian please read up on what happened between them and Murray Rothbard. (good
    as place as any to start: (links at bottom too) ) The Koches are what are at best beltarians. ( )



    Follow the money and the political power. Detroit got the way it is in large part because of how politics allocates resources. Of course the way american politics works, malinvestment is only visible when the other side does it, not as a natural result of the political process.


    Alex Gonzalez

    My wife rides her bike to her job. She works at an elementary school her commute is .90 of a mile to get there. Also my daughter rides her bike to middle school and her ride is .50 of a mile to school. I used to ride 17 miles from NJ to NYC. I am looking for work and can’t wait to land a job. I’ll be happy to commute by bike rain or shine or snow. We live the bikelife.


    David P.

    Widening The Edsel Ford is nuts, but I am not that confident that it will actually come to pass.



    What is bike mode share outside of Copenhagen? Denmark is wealthier per capita than the Netherlands and much less dense.



    Does it really matter anymore?



    For all their talk about free markets, automobile advocates can be remarkably allergic to paying their bills.

    Lighter side of the news:



    Doesn’t this plan immediately increase the property value of all lots in the 500 “core” acres? As such, is Madrid capturing any of that jump in value?

    If not, one could reasonably argue that this is a transfer of wealth from people outside the core to property owners within the core.

    A similar argument was made by the outer boroughs in NYC. The Bloomber-era congestion pricing plan tried to address this by adding a surcharge to all taxi rides within the core zone.


    Bertha DeBlues

    Yeah, I’m the king, baby! Which is weird, since I’m a GRRL tunneler!



    Water is a red herring … though to be sure, a lack of water has yet to prove a deterrent to Arizona development. Yes, a drop of only five more feet in Lake Mead will trigger an 11% reduction in Colorado River water deliveries to Arizona, something almost sure to happen within the next year. But Arizona developers are very skillful at ignoring just that sort of thing. And that’s irrelevant to this issue, anyway.

    The real issue with this project is that it’s an unnecessary waste of money. Density along the route is nonexistent and always will be, in large part because of the water issues you cite. The only real population served is at either end, with 300 empty miles in between. The route sees very little traffic now. Most of route is already a deserted four-lane divided highway. Any further upgrade will benefit a very small number of people. There’s no reason to do it. It’s just a lot of money so Arizona can have another blue line through empty land on an interstate map.


    C Monroe

    how is it bad? Water politics pay a huge role in development in that area. This is not Austin to Houston.



    Not all freeways are bad. This one is.



    Makes absolutely no sense that POVs are authorized inside neighborhoods like FiDi and SoHo.



    Please do this in NYC!



    Can’t wait for the first time I hear, “This is not Madrid!”



    Not all *highways* are bad. They shouldn’t be “free.”


    Kevin Love

    Looking forward to reading the headline, “New York moving towards a car-free Manhattan.”


    Stacy Clarkson

    Government grows,and freedom lessens…

    The founders warned of this!


    Sean Hughes

    Im usually against highway projects, but tunnels seem like a good thing to me since it gets cars out of sight.


    C Monroe

    Upgrading a highway to an interstate between two large cities is not a boondoggle. Not all freeways are bad.


    C Monroe

    The 405 closer was a pleasant surprise. Considered the busiest freeway in the US closed and no mayhem happened.



    It’s great to expand these city/country tours to places like the Netherlands–there’s nothing like actually experiencing pervasively good bike infrastructure to be able to envision how we could really transform and retrofit cities in the US.

    A lot of the theoretical objections to separated bike infrastructure are addressed by actually seeing it work smoothly in person.

    As David Hembrow points out, though, it’s important to keep in mind that just because a certain solution exists in, say, The Netherlands, this doesn’t mean it should be unquestioningly copied. The NL has been doing trial-and-error with infra for decades and steadily replaces treatments proven over time to be subpar. This can mean, however, that certain older exemplars still exist and shouldn’t be copied just because they exist in the Netherlands.

    For example, while in the Netherlands the general trend is towards replacing what they call “Suggestion Lanes” (Advisory Lanes) with physically separated infrastructure, we just saw this last week:

    The grain-of-salt thing is all the more important when examining Danish infrastructure, which is not as comprehensive as that in the NL and has more dangerous arterial intersections (which are not protected physically like Dutch ones typically are). Unsurprisingly, even bike modeshare in Copenhagen comes nowhere near that seen on average in the Netherlands.

    How to tell the difference between best-practice and subpar infra? Every delegate should be given a copy of CROW!


    C Monroe

    So by the time this road will become beneficial is about the time it will start needing major repairs.


    Mike Salisbury

    Likewise, on Denver’s I-70 East corridor, CDOT projects that VMT will increase 2% every year between now and 2035 and that VMT will increase even faster than population, both of which contradict the actual trends over the last 8 years.



    You can’t really compare a planned closure of a highway to an unexpected crash, though. New Jersey had to completely close the inbound lanes of the Pulaski Skyway, a major route to the Holland Tunnel into NYC. There were predictions of doom and massive traffic hell that never materialized once the closure went into effect. Why? Because people plan around it. They take transit or wait until non-peak times to travel. The same was true when the 405 in LA was closed for a weekend.

    In places that do have alternatives to driving as Seattle does, we just don’t need highways as much as we think we do. There is advantage to being able to avoid disruption, but sometimes a bit of short term pain is worth the money saved and improvement to the surrounding environment.



    I guess if you are so opposed to subsidies you would be more than happy to pay tolls on I-90 so it can cover it’s actual annual cost of operations and help to contribute to finishing the parallel route on SR 520? Once the tolls are in place your congestion concern becomes a non-issue.



    I’m trying to picture the US with another 51 million residents.



    What you don’t seem to understand about traffic signals is yellow means proceed with caution. A red light means stop.

    LA county Metro wants the driving public to stop, not proceed with caution through Orange Line intersections. Metro also does not want to delay the buses on the Orange Line any more than they have to by extending the time cars can proceed through the intersection. This would increase the likelihood that the buses would have to slow down or stop at these intersections.

    People were flat out running through red lights at some of these intersections as if there are no traffic signals at all. Having extended yellow signals would not make any difference to them because a lot of them were not noticing that there is any traffic signal there to begin with.

    At more than one intersection the green light was eliminated for the bus drivers along the Orange Line and a cautionary flashing yellow signal now replaces it. This was done to warn the drivers to proceed through some intersections with extra caution where there had been collisions or more potential conflicts. This puts the burden of improving the safety on the bus driver.

    The red light cameras are flashing bright lights in the face of drivers that enter the space of the Orange Line BRT roadway when they are not supposed to be there. They get a ticket in the mail that fines them for doing that and thereby tells them that they will get another fine if it happens again. This usually works to change most peoples behavior. The ticket in the mail points out where the signal is for those that were unaware of a intersection be there. From my observation of when this violation occurs that the perpetrators seem oblivious that there is a intersection there.