A new research paper determined that residential properties near transit stations in five major cities across the US maintained their values significantly better than properties outside of "transit sheds."
While on an individual level it is clear that today's transportation agencies are filled with people who are professional and want to do the right thing, the institutional inertia is carrying them in wayward directions.
If Shakespeare were alive today, and no doubt opposed to government waste, he might say kill the highway lobbyists — or at least their wasteful projects. The Sierra Club came out with its list of 50 best and worst transportation projects based on environmental impact. The worst projects are astoundingly costly — frequently running into the billions of dollars. The widening of I-5 in San Diego County is priced at $4.5 billion. That's more than the nationwide TIGER competitive grant program over its entire life, including the $1.5 billion first-year stimulus allocation. Then there's the $2 billion South Mountain Freeway in Phoenix. And the Trinity River Parkway in Dallas, estimated to cost $1.4 billion to $1.8 billion. There are dozens of wasteful freeway projects detailed in this report. Some very good projects are also identified, which tend to have more modest price tags, such as the Capital Bikeshare and the Tucson streetcar line.
Hurricane Sandy tore into the East Coast in late October, and North America’s most densely populated island proved resilient. Despite a direct hit from a 14-foot storm surge, Manhattan suffered minimal loss of life. Seven flooded subway tunnels were operating within a week and much of the island never lost power.