Light rail can't solve growth problems
I was one of those first eager riders on the new
light-rail system in Salt Lake City in December of 1999 (HCN,
11/14/05: Back on track). After years of rampant population growth
in the Salt Lake Valley, I find that Salt Lake City today has more
traffic and congestion, the air is way more polluted, and there is
far less open space since that first Trax ride of six years ago.
The only way to truly combat the negative effects of runaway growth
is to … stop growing!
Call me a pessimist, but with
tens of millions more people expected in the Intermountain West in
the next 25 years, I fear that we can all look forward to massive
increases in pollution, sprawl and congestion. And a million more
miles of light rail isn’t going to fix it.