It's not what you think, I swear!
So, anyways, critical thinking... Have you noticed how this is not taught in any way, shape or form in school? We do not encourage the vaguest notion of truly thinking for oneself. Critical thinking, to most, means that harder math question at the end of the chapter. You know, that problem in geometry where it showed you a pool table and gave you a few measurements, and then you had to A.) algebraically figure out precise measurements for the ones not given, and you had to do it using the pathagorean theorem.
You know, something like that.
The reason I bring this up, actually, has to do with traffic. I mean, when was the last time in the Seattle region (yeah, everybody else is off the hook), that people talked about an overall good plan to alleviate traffic congestion which did not include dragging fellow motorists out of their cars and shooting them in the face in a homicidal rage?
Which, mind you, could work and would ALSO alleviate unemployment at the same time by opening up positions in the job market.....ok.....I better stop here, because given my general distaste for humanity I may begin to tout this as our most viable option...
So, back to the situation at hand...
Hark, do I hear the cry of the silly? What say you? Widen the streets, add more lanes? Why, of course! It's brillian!!! In, of course, that completely wasteful and idiotic way! While we are on a roll, let's make it illegal to commute via any means of transportation save pogo-sticks!
Let's review the simple facts:
1.) To widen the freeways, and the interchanges, would cost us so much money it would make your eyes bleed. And your nose. And your ears. And, in fact, it may even make the eyes of your pets bleed. We're talking 15 billion or so on the short end.
2.) There comes a point where you have 50 lanes of freeway, and 44 of them are empty, and there are still 3,000 cars backed up because they are all trying to use the same exit. We are talking flow, and alleviating bottlenecks, which means finding an alternate way to get people into the city.
3.) We are, basically, out of options in regards to the freeways. It is time to look at alternate modes of transportation.
A.) Train. Less expensive than widening all the freeways, but expensive because you would still need to procure space for it to run.
B.) Bus. Good in theory, but forget it with King County metro. They want to run their program reactively, build as they get ridership. Hint for Metro to consider: Nobody wants to ride the flipping bus when it takes them 3 hours to get somehwere it takes 45 minutes to drive!!! You need good coverage FIRST, and THEN you get ridership.
C.) Teleportation devices. Best idea, but back to reality...
D.) Subway. Subways are great, but they are expensive as HELL. You don't have to acquire new property, but tunneling is not cheap, AND you have to ventilate the subway, wire it for electricity, fire suppression, escape routes, et cetera. Very not so cheap, almost as bad as trying to widen all our freeways and the like.
E.) Light Rail. Well, it still takes up ground space which means you have to either have huge costs to acquire new land, and even if you do so that's still space that could be dedicated to traffic. They, in cities, have to run with the lights as they are on the ground. That means that they don't move much faster than your car when in downtown. They are also noisy, and more expensive to operate than most the other options here.
F.) Monorail. Hmmm, let's see here. They require no real annexation of land (which saves a bundle), the pillars and rail can be pre-fabricated and require no fire suppresion or ventilation (which means it's -CHEAP-). They take no ground space whereas Trains and Light Rail does. That, in and of itself, means no negative impact on current traffic conditions. You're not taking away from the current roadways at ALL, so even if nobody ever rode it there would be no negative impact on traffic. It ALSO, since it is elevated, gets people into the city WITHOUT using the same consistantly clogged exit ramps. Furthermore, since it's so much cheaper, you can have a MUCH broader transportation system implement. And, what that means is, the more people whom can use it from varying locales then the less people are going to be on the roads directly. Into the costs you are also considering the fact that you want them running ever 4 minutes or so, and their departure/arrival timeframes are clockwork. You know that from Bellevue to Downtown Seattle, for instance, will take you 19 minutes. That is 19 minutes during rush-hour, where it can normally take you closer to an hour. Not only that, but if you implement quick mass transit between cities, you can simplify and improve the bus system (and in turn your overall mass transit options). If the bus systems no longer had to cover routes such as Bellevue to Redmond, Redmond to Seattle, Seattle to Bothel, and all the mish-mash of variables (which covers the majority of their routes), then they could concentrate on better short-distance coverage. You would have constant and dedicated transit between population centers, and so now you only have to worry about improving bus coverage in the immediate area surrounding the monorail depot. Monorail is also the cheapest of all the different options, which means that it costs us less money (and I don't know about you, but I quite enjoy saving money).
Do my ass a favor, as my commute blows the chunks so to speak, and go look at making the monorail regional.
I know that alot of us commute up and down the 405 corridor, or have to get to Seattle from the Eastside, or vice versa. So, how about we start doing it intelligently?
Or, would you like us to widen the roads?