Comment 80149

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 29, 2012 at 15:26:48 in reply to Comment 80121

When a 5 lane road sits empty it does not cost any money.

But it does.

When a road sits empty it represents a loss of opportunity cost - financially via the tax value of the land, and functionally via the unavailability of the land for alternate uses.

Building over-capacity is wasteful and expensive.

In addition to these losses, it also costs a lot of money to build, rebuild and maintain every square foot of road surface. If we have more road than we need it is very expensive indeed.

Yes, an empty train is expensive but so is an empty road.

The 2011 capital budget alloted 34% to roads and 8% to transit. Meanwhile, our road capacity so overbuilt that we can afford to lose entire lanes from our main thoroughfares for stretches of months (or years) with near zero negative effect on traffic.

We are overspending on roads. It is not affordable.

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