Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008

Open forum: We’ll always need roads

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Declining oil will not decrease the need for more roads as Carl Henn says (‘‘Declining oil will decrease need for more roads,” Jan. 2 letter). In fact, it’s just the opposite since more connectivity will be needed.

Buses, trucks, mail delivery vehicles and cars need roads to make connections everywhere as the population continues to increase. People still will need food, products and services, which cannot be provided by the Purple Line and the Corridor Cities Transitway.

Public transport transit systems cost 4.51 times more per passenger mile than cars according to the Urban Transport Fact Book. Now that vehicles are becoming more energy-efficient (my gas-electric Prius gets 45 to 50 miles per gallon) and new types of energy sources for transportation are coming online, the need for roads will continue to increase. More limited-access roads like the ICC and Interstate roads will be needed to help improve the fuel (energy) use for trucks, buses and multimodal non-rail passenger transport.

Light Rail Transit (LRT) trolley as proposed for the Purple Line and the Corridor Cities Transitway is the worst form of public transit according to historical data. However, driverless elevated monobeam-monorail is less costly to build and more efficient to operate than LRT. It can pay for itself in less than 20 years; it has the capacity nearly that of Metrorail and it’s environmentally friendly. Also, it doesn’t create congestion like LRT surface rail does.

So, why do people like Mr. Henn and others not want to improve and build roads that are much more cost-effective, useful and friendly for taxpayers?

G. Stanley Doore, Silver Spring