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Here is an interesting proposal?! As commuters expend energy through fuel consumption the energy released by the automobiles will then be harnessed by turbines. The poetics of no energy ever being created, but simply transferred, is satisfyingly embraced in this concept. Not to mention the benefit of a constant visual mantra of the global warming crisis being ever present while driving.

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Here at TransitMiami, we often are very critical of Miami’s auto-oriented planning legacy. However, while Miami has recently made strides toward a denser, more sustainable, more pedestrian-oriented city (Streetcar, Miami 21, countywide efforts such as metrorail expansion), the Phoenix-Tempe-Mesa metro area continues its pursuit to be the King of Sprawl. Tempe council members and Mayor Hugh Hallman are pressuring the Arizona Department of Transportation to expedite a proposal to widen a section of I-10 to 24 lanes! The fact that city planners anywhere would take this proposal seriously is unfathomable. Perhaps they attended the University of Wendell Cox, the (un)Reason(able) Foundation, or some other group that advocates for unsustainable, climate-destroying sprawl through pseudo-science and selective data that leads to inaccurate and misleading conclusions.

Countless studies have concluded that widening highways is almost always an exercise in futility. One report uses a creative analogy to illustrate the ineffectiveness of widening highways:

“Consider the role laxatives should play relieving constipation. Laxatives are sometimes appropriate, but it is generally best to address constipation by changing diet (more fiber and liquids) and exercise (take a walk), because laxatives’ effectiveness declines with frequent use, they can hide more severe diseases, and they can exacerbate other medical problems. A physician who prescribes laxatives without investigating why the patient is constipated or considering other solutions is guilty of malpractice.

Similarly, chronic traffic congestion is often a symptom of more fundamental community design problems, such as inadequate mobility options that force people to drive for every trip, and dispersed land use patterns that increase travel distances. Where this is true, expanding roads may reduce short term symptoms but exacerbate long term problems. “

Click here to read the rest of the study.

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