This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
Sightline tries to get us thinking about more options on 520:
Overall, the visual is effective. We do need to re-think capacity in terms of moving people, and giving them options. Trying to find room for SOVs in a modern city is folly.
Still, I sometimes wonder about renderings that show highways less-than-full capacity as some kind of blissful, post-congestion future utopia. As folks at, say, Sightline, never tire of pointing out: congestion is here to stay. It’s possible that tools like congestion pricing could keep our freeways flowing at 50mph all day long, but I’m skeptical that there’s the political will for that. If there’s no traffic, people are going to want to drive until the roads are packed. And with 235mpg cars on the way, what’s going to stop them?
Even in New York, where I grew up and where there are tons of transit options, the roads are still jammed at rush hour.