But on the other side, there are roads that are built into no-where because of expected future demand. There are very few cars traveling there at the time, but its expected to grow. So why the double standard? Why say that building a rail line to support future density is worthless while turning your head when a road is built to support future sprawl. One is enabling infrastructure waste and the other efficient development. Especially at a time with increasing energy costs and a need for alternatives.
The blog bleeding heartland covers a local example of this in Iowa.
On a related note, this past Saturday 1000 Friends of Iowa organized a "tour de sprawl" in northern Polk County as part of its annual meeting. The bus tour took us through several areas in the corridor being considered for a four-lane beltway in northeast Polk County.
It is incredible to realize that Congressman Leonard Boswell will be seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for this road project. A very small number of people would benefit (primarily developers who are buying up farmland near the beltway's path).
Meanwhile, valuable farmland could be lost and irreplaceable natural areas such as the Moeckley Prairie could be threatened.
The opportunity cost of spending hundreds of millions on a new road heading north from Altoona and then east to I-35 would be enormous. Traffic flows do not justify this project through sparsely-populated rural areas, especially when gasoline is expensive and many Americans are seeking alternatives to driving.