The Infrastructure Cult

15 thoughts on “The Infrastructure Cult”

  1. Certainly, the residents of San Francisco and Marin County could all have gotten decent bikes or at least memberships in a bike share outfit. Money better spent than on the usual highway expansion with no tangible benefits other than “it’s just what we do.”

    1. Bridges subsidizing ferries. Now there’s a switch. Usually, when a bridge goes in, ferries go under pretty quickly. But that’s because the bridge is usually “free” (no tolls or expenses above ordinary driving costs). If we can use tolls to charge the (impatient? reclusive? antisocial?) drivers of single-occupant vehicles, and use the collected fees to provide alternative, cheaper, (but slower) transportation, and keep traffic (usually) flowing without massive street expansions, then isn’t that obviously the fiscally responsible course of action?

    1. This thread is proving my point. People are easily distracted by a detail of no consequence while the actual matter at hand is given no thought. That’s why an enormous amount of money can be spent on a tiny stretch of unnecessary road. Focus. On. The. Main. Point.

    1. I’m sure you’re being cheeky. I’m also sure I’m wrong about the exact cost of a space shuttle launch. How about the bigger point I’m making? Please comment on that.

    2. For pete’s sake. $1.4 Billion is $1,642.29 for every resident of the city, or $304.74 for every resident of the entire San Fran metro. That’s an enormous sum. What do they get for all of that money? What could they have done with it instead? That’s the point.

      1. Not trying to be cheeky! I love the blog and I agree with this post – it seems like a heck of a lot of money for a small benefit. But the exact quote is:

        “The Department of Transportation dropped $1.4 billion on Doyle Drive. It’s a magnificent piece of engineering, but a space shuttle could have been launched with that kind of cash. Or everyone in North America could have gotten a pretty nice bike.”

        $1,400,000,000 divided by 320,000,000 (the population of the US) is $4.38. If you meant ‘everyone in San Francisco could have gotten a pretty nice bike’ then the point absolutely stands. Just seemed like you made a typo?

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