Monday, January 05, 2009

Does transit subsidize sprawl?

Aaron Houck, in the January Charlotte Viewpoint (online magazine) asks: Does rapid transit subsidize sprawl? He concludes it does, sort of. (Also in this issue, Mark Peres -- dubbed one of Seven to Watch by the Observer's Local Desk late last year-- muses about business ethics.)

I'll give you my thought on the matter later, but here's the headline: Whatever transit might be doing to subsidize sprawl, the outerbelt is doing to the 10th degree. Building the outerbelt AND building a transit system was a truly schizophrenic approach to transportation planning.


Cap'n Transit said...

The difference between walkability-enabling transit and sprawl-enabling transit is park-and-ride lots.

Anonymous said...

Why would it possibly matter? Absolutely none of the negative impacts of our $9.5b. transit plan as it is currently constituted matter. In fact, they habitually ignored in this town.

Having said that, judging from the South Blvd. park-n-ride lots the residents of South Carolina thank CLT taxpayers for their subsidized commutes.


Justin Ritchie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin Ritchie said...

I-485 is a massive subsidy for sprawl. The outer loop is just another example of how philosophies of transportation planners are too simplistic as they only account for road throughput. 485 should have never been built and all that money should have poured into rail transit. However, since we don't live in an ideal world its better that we get road money for something than for nothing.

If we are complaining about cost overruns and the "ineptitude" of CATS as they build rail lines we should treat road projects the same way.

Remove public subsidies for roads and building $1 billion rail lines will look cost effective.

Anonymous said...

Every time I read complaints I-485 I have to wonder exactly where all the people who have moved here in the last 10 to 15 years would live and how they would move about without the outerbelt. When we moved here in the early 90's, before any of 485 had been completed, traffic was awful. And Independence was infamous throughout the midwest as the dreaded route through Charlotte you had to take to get to the Carolina beaches. Rail transit is great but it can't possibly carry all, or even a good portion, of the population. Look at the northeast--lots of rail and still lots of congestion!