Creative Solutions Still Possible?
As usual, I didn't get to all the good questions and comments that came in during the Live Online today. I'll try to answer some of those questions here on Get There throughout the week. But I thought you might like to chew on this Live Online comment and question that I didn't have time to post earlier:
Ashburn, Va.: It seems that everybody agrees that D.C. has a traffic problem, and everybody agrees that it's getting worse. But nobody agrees about the best way to solve it. Are any politicians pushing out-of-the-box approaches to solving the traffic problems?
What if the region invested in high-speed Internet to every home (the way the government helped land-line telephone adoption). Wouldn't that be worth is if it could remove 15-30 percent of the vehicles off the road?
How about investing in remote tele-working facilities in the outlying counties? So Prince William County workers only had to commute to shared office-space in Prince William County. Doesn't everybody win?
How about encouraging flex-time through significantly reduced toll-charges in offpeak times (and significantly increased toll-charges during peak times).
How about opening up all shoulders on all major highways to buses and registered van-pools. People would ride buses if there was some upside to them. Gliding past grid-locked traffic on the Beltway sounds like a pretty good upside.
How about raising the gas tax by $2 a gallon. And taking that money and investing 100 percent of it towards finding alternatives to fossil fuels. People would be forced to weigh the costs of driving their cars. We'd pollute less. We'd lose interest in fighting wars-for-oil in the Middle East. Our next generation of children would no longer be handcuffed to oil. And our current generation would hold its place in history as a leader when renewable energy became a reality that carried mankind through to the next several centuries.
Ahhh -- but who am I kidding. Let's just throw cash at the problem, raise taxes, build more roads, keep driving gas-sucking SUVs, and pollute. That's sooooo much easier isn't it. And maybe next year, Washington, D.C. can become a winner -- maybe next year we can be the No. 1 (in the list of cities with the worst commute in the country.)
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