Former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist has a novel idea: build more street grids (emphasis mine):
[I]f you have a city with boulevards and avenues and no freeways, it’s going to be a lot more valuable. You look at Vancouver, they have no freeways whatsoever, and they have a fabulously intense and valuable real estate and job market. And then you look at the places that have invested all the money in the giant road segments and they tend to be degraded. It’s not roads versus transit — it’s good street networks-plus-transit versus mindless building of out-of-scale roads. I mean they’re basically putting rural roads into urbanized areas and it’s counterproductive, it reduces the value of the economy, it destroys jobs, destroys real estate value. For what, so you can drive fast at two in the morning when you’re drunk?
Freeways don’t work in rush hour; they’re slower. Like in Washington, DC, Connecticut Avenue is faster at rush hour than the Potomac Freeway. The Potomac Freeway goes down to about two to six miles an hour during the peak hour, whereas Connecticut Avenue goes down to about eight to thirteen miles an hour. So you’re really talking about the federal government investing billions and billions of dollars in stuff that reduces the value of the economy. How bad is that?
Here’s an example of how much sense a street grid makes when compared to a cul-de-sac:
Forget longer travel times; let’s build more street grids and connect neighborhoods back to the surrounding communities.
H/T to The Political Environment.