Mr. Frederick Charles Shakir, of Waterford Connecticut writes:
Mr. Shakir, the answer is simple.
When the revolving door leads straight from the automobile and highway industries into the US and state DOTs, you're pretty much going to get just one product. US DOTs are staffed with former automobile and highway industry personnel - and why shouldn't they be? After all, if all you're going to build is roads, it's a great arrangement.
Of course the problem is that the transportation department that knows only one technology, is going to try to use said technology to solve all our transportation problems. Which is why, for the past 75 years, US DOTs have implemented only ONE SOLUTION in respose to 99% of road traffic problems - more road. This knee-jerk response applies more old technology and design to the problem space - so the problem, temporarily abaited, grows larger. Essentially pouring asphalt to solve the problems of pouring asphalt.
But now we're in a pickle. We've grown our roads so massive that they threaten businesses, the environment, neighborhoods and communities, and yet they still can't handle the commuter load; they're still congested and we have neither the time, space, money, desire, nor will to enlarge them. Nobody wants a road in his back yard, nor wants the road in his backyard enlarged. So the traffic solution US DOTs implement 99% of the time has become publicly undesirable. The solution is two part.
First, we need a change in spending priorities. Since the United States lacks the political and industrial vehicles (pun intended) required to implement public transporation system on a grand scale, we need laws mandating change in transporation funding. We need laws requiring equal, if not more, monies be spent on mass transit projects than on road projects. Jobs won't be lost, they'll be created.
Highway construction crews will raise monorail tracks instead of pouring asphalt. Building monorail systems in each US city will create hundreds of thousands of construction jobs in each state. Automobile maufacturers and technitions will make and service the trains - thousands upon thousands of monorail trains, control equipment, stations, etc...
Second, we need to rebuild and restructure cities to take full advantage of these mass transit solutions. Cluster buildings around stations, replace parking lots and parking garages with new businesses, retail and office space. Replace roads with new housing, schools, hospitals. Install slow, ground level trams for intermediate walking distances. Etc...
All of this means jobs, JOBS, JOBS!, and green, GREEN, GREEN!. It's a win-win for everyone.
In a world where economies loose billions of dollars each year due to traffic congestion, and in a world rapidly warming due to human consumption of fossil fuels, and in a world which looses millions of acres of wilderness each year to sprawling development and road construction, we need to build green, electric, automated, elevated monorail systems in all US cities. Put Americans to work building monorails.
Instead of widening highways, raise monorail track.
Ford, Chevy, GM - build monorails... US Monorails!
This is a commitment to America’s future.
Cities that do monorail right will be the envy of the world.