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 gonna get just one product. US DOTs are staffed with former automobile and highway industry personnel - and why shouldn't they be? If all you're going to build is roads, it's a great arrangement.
The problem, of course, is that the department that only knows how to use a hammer, is going to try to use said hammer to solve all our problems. To 99% of all road traffic problems US DOTs have implemented only ONE SOLUTION - more road. This knee-jerk answer applies more old technology and design to the problem space. Essentially pouring asphalt to solve the problems of pouring asphalt. "More road" is the only solution to road problems that has been applied for the past 80 years. No other transportation technology is seriously considered or implemented.
But now we're in a pickle. Roads have grown so massive - to the point of threatening businesses, environments and neighborhoods - and yet they're still congested and we have neither the time, space, money, desire, nor will to grow them larger. The solution is two part.
First, 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 applied to mass transit projects than are applied to road projects. Jobs won't be lost, they'll be created.
Highway construction crews will raise monorail tracks instead of pouring asphalt. The creation of monorail systems in each US city will maintain and create hundreds of thousands of construction jobs in each state. Automobile maufacturers and technitions can make and service the trains - thousands upon thousands of monorail trains, control equipment, stations, etc...
Second, 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.