JLF Piedmont Triad Blog

Superstorm Sandy and Smart Growth

Antiplanner pulls no punches:

Advocates of smart growth–density and transit–are either consummate liars or complete idiots. Those are the only explanations for many of the statements that come out of their mouths. The latest is the claim that Superstorm Sandy proves we need to spend more on transit.

What Superstorm Sandy proved was that concentrating a lot of people in one place and making them dependent on an easily floodable, centralized transportation system is a bad idea. Spending more money on New York’s subways prior to the storm just would have meant more money lost to storm damage.

We heard the same nonsense when Katrina hit New Orleans, which just happens to be the nation’s second-most transit-dependent city after New York. The people who had automobiles got out before the flooding; the people who depended on transit did not, either because the transit system was incompetently run or because the people didn’t trust the transit system to take them where they wanted to go. Yet some planners seriously argued that the problems resulting from Katrina–including more than 1,100 deaths–were because New Orleans was too “auto dependent.”

Note it’s McClatchy reporting advocates’ call for more investment in transit; no coincidence then that the N&O calls for Wake County commissioners to get off the schneid and get on some mass transit.

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