Saturday, November 12, 2005

Critics Question the Logic

AP informs us that urban planners in California are considering building a traffic tunnel in LA.  Critics wonder why on earth anyone would consider building a nine billion dollar tunnel that put thousands of people underground,  in an area prone to earthquakes.  It is a good question.  
Critics question the logic of building a multibillion-dollar project in a region so prone to earthquakes that an alternate proposal for a double-decker highway was deemed too dangerous. The tunnel would begin barely a mile from a fault that produced a 6.0-magnitude earthquake about a century ago.
Call it the tunnel to nowhere.  

Critics point out, also, that if the tunnel is built, the resulting improvement in congestion will encourage further growth.  Then it will just be a matter of time before things get to be worse than they are now.

The solution, I am sure, lies not in civil engineering, but in social engineering.  That means mass transportation.  That means people learning to regiment their lives so that that go to work on time and leave work on time, and use their cars much less.  That would require a mental readjustment.  It also would require some economic adjustments.  There would be winners and losers, economically speaking.  It seems obvious, though, that as a whole, the area would be better off.