Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weeks-long China traffic jam puts Michigan's construction season tie-ups to shame

In China, a 62-mile long traffic jam is entering its 10th day. Hopefully, this will get the attention of the Michigan Department of Transportation. Despite steadfast efforts this summer, MDOT – like the rest of the country – is falling behind the Chinese.

Michigan’s summer traffic tie-ups are legendary, but the Chinese traffic jam is now the gold standard and the envy of all developed nations.

It’s not that our elected officials aren’t trying. From the advent of the Model T, Michigan has steadfastly resisted investing money in public transportation options that might reduce road congestion; squabbled over who might control hypothetical regional transportation authorities; and created cities and suburbs that require personal vehicles to get to jobs and shopping centers.

But it’s not nearly enough, as China’s latest world-leading achievement proves. So we need to try harder.

We can start by getting rid of these do-gooders, Michigan by Rail, who are hosting more than a dozen public forums this summer and fall on the future of rail transportation in Michigan.

Whatever you do, please do not encourage them by checking their web site, finding an upcoming forum near you and giving them your input, which in turn will be given to MDOT and federal planners as they try and improve public transit options. And by all means, don’t let your elected officials know that you support public transit as a convenient alternative to building more and bigger roads.

If we want to catch up with China, we’ve got a lot of work to do.

1 comment:

  1. The photo is fake. It's a heavily photoshopped image of the 405 in Los Angeles. Proof here: http://www.bricoleurbanism.org/whimsicality/when-photoshop-is-so-good-its-bad/