Talking Headways Podcast: One More Freeway Without a Future

So, Bertha is stuck digging an enormous highway tunnel underneath Seattle. Jeff Wood and I ask the essential question: Does Seattle really need to spend $2.8 billion on a new traffic sewer, when traffic on the Alaskan Way Viaduct has been plummeting?

We also highlight this week’s public conversation about CNU’s big report calling out highways just begging to be demolished. After all, 2013 was the ninth year in a row that Americans drove fewer miles per capita, and some states are beginning to adjust their old assumptions that driving will grow steadily, forever.

We talk about all this and more on the 12th episode of Talking Headways.

And remember, you can subscribe to this podcast’s RSS feed or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes — and please give us a listener review while you’re at it. Join the conversation in the comments section.

3 thoughts on Talking Headways Podcast: One More Freeway Without a Future

  1. I dislike your tired thought that cars belong on every street sir Tired! I wonder if they tore down the Alaska Way V duct and drilled the car tube, but had no outlet in the city to keep your fat, unhealthy types that raise MY HEALTHCARE COSTS out! Time for the tired to pay there fair share! I am sure the tired ones would glady pay $10 a shot to drill their face and body (your car) under town. I don’t think your $ would be missed on the surface.

  2. The school thing is important and deserves more discussion in the context of urbanism.

    How bad are the city schools across the country, really? I question if this is even a clear thing anymore and not just a matter of perception. Obviously in a richer area where all the students come from wealth schools are better on average, but how correlated to the suburbs is this today? Houston ISD is not that bad. Conversely, several suburban districts in the area are pretty crummy. Of course, in a school district as large as HISD, there are great schools and terrible ones at least partly owing to the differences in their neighborhood intakes.

    In terms of neighborhood intakes, it’s a directly self-fulfilling prophecy. If you live in a middle-class neighborhood you’re likely to have a decent school because of the student body. If you’re in a different school district altogether, it’s also a matter of funding, and that’s just another case of the suburbs reaping the benefits of a system they refuse to pay into. Part of the solution, in every state, has to be equalizing school funding so that you can’t just create a rich, white district as they’ve done in Dallas, thus starving other schools of money. But aside from this factor, I believe that the larger urban school terribleness issue will fix itself if we fix the other problems that plague cities in the fight against suburbs. Conversely, they’ll “fix” themselves if we let housing costs get out of control so that the poor are driven out of the cities by cost and only the rich are left.

    One other thing: are you guys aware of the lead theory of crime? Part of the reason inner-city schools have historically been worse may be because the kids were actually dumber.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Talking Headways Podcast: Bikes of Ill Repute

Jeff Wood and I are back with episode 8 of the Talking Headways podcast. We talk about Los Angeles Metro’s decision not to extend light rail all the way to LAX (and what they’re doing instead), plus some analysis of what rail can really do in a city as spread-out as LA. Then we head […]

Talking Headways Podcast: The Missions of San Antonio

This week we’re joined by Trish Wallace and Jillian Harris, transportation planners at the City of San Antonio. Tune in and hear about the history of the San Antonio Riverwalk, the city’s bike master plan, and the inner workings of the SATomorrow Plan. Our discussion of San Antonio’s growth leads us to all sorts of Texas planning […]

Talking Headways Podcast: Let Them Drive Cars

Quick quiz: What city is the world leader in highway teardowns? San Francisco? Portland? Madrid? Wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s Seoul, South Korea, which has removed 15 urban highways — and is about to remove another. In this week’s Talking Headways episode, Jeff and I talk about what can take the place of a freeway in […]