Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Freeway? Another Carpool Lane?

I heard today that the 730 million dollars was approved to add carpool lanes on the 405 between the 101 and the 10 and the Pomona portion of the 71fwy is finally underway this month.

The 71 fwy finally being completed makes sense. Since the only part of the freeway that is not done is in Pomona. It seems silly that somewhere between Mission and Rio Rancho the 71 just becomes a normal street.

BUT another carpool lane? seriously? 730Million? In our car culture with high gas prices, a depleting oil supply, and an environment in danger is there really no other choice? I don't think so. If we keep expanding freeways people will keep buying more cars.

That money could be used for a better mass transit system. The New Aqualine looks promising connecting Downtown LA to Santa Monica. But this new carpool lane to ease congestion? Will that really help? We could relieve congestion by adding a more extensive rail line along that same stretch. It doesn't even need to underground. In fact it doesn't even need to take up as much land either!

In 1963 a monorail system was offered to be built in LA for FREE. Of course we'd have to foot the bill now, but the reality of extensive monorail systems could definitely help ease congestion.

Monorails are quiet. They don't cost as much. In SoCal they are perfect because of the weather. A giant tunnel doesn't need to be dug, and they are modular! It's 2008 and the only Monorail in Southern California is STILL in Disneyland.

Here is a list of cities with a monorail. It IS a proven system.

If you don't like monorails there are always Light Rails. many people are more used to those but they are an older technology and there is still a lot of disagreement about which one is better than the other.

The point is, if we're expected to stop depending on oil to live we really need to start looking at alternative modes of transportation INCLUDING Mass transit. It's seriously, really, time to stop expanding freeways and start expanding mass transit modes. No more transitioning, do it now Governator.

1 comment:

John Clifford said...

Ah, you forget that if we use public funds to build a car pool lane then we can later change it into a toll lane. Then someone can exploit our need to get to work and make a ton of bucks off of what we've already paid for.

Just an observation from a cynic.