It’s hard to exaggerate how scattershot the current system is. Government agencies usually don’t even have to do a rigorous analysis of a project or how it would affect traffic and the environment, relative to its cost and to the alternatives — before deciding whether to proceed. In one recent survey of local officials, almost 80 percent said they had based their decisions largely on politics, while fewer than 20 percent cited a project’s potential benefits.This means most of those toll roads that she wants. It also means the sprawl roads that really have no environmental or fiscal benefits, such as the one we discussed yesterday. Yet Mary Peters still wants a cost benefit analysis done on projects. If it's the one that she's performing on the Central Corridor or the Dulles extension no thanks. We need better measures, and ones that put livability before driving fast or moving more cars.
But we also see articles like this, where the utilities are thinking about ordering electric cars. What the heck are you thinking? String up some wires on major corridors and order some buses that can be made fast. If they were so worried about making the shift to electric vehicles, they should start with modest changes now and public transport.
One interesting point the Journal piece gets into is that utilities want to play a much bigger role in managing the shift to electrified transport, to ensure that it doesn't put strain on the grid the way that the sudden burst in popularity of air conditioners did after World War II, taking the power industry by surprise.On trunk lines this would be cheaper for the transit agency and the electric company, not diesel makers, would be pulling in more money. I'm ashamed we have such tunnel vision.