Numlock Sunday: Aaron Gordon on why the U.S. sucks at public transit
By Walt Hickey
Welcome to the Numlock Sunday edition. Each week, I'll sit down with an author or a writer behind one of the stories covered in a previous weekday edition for a casual conversation about what they wrote.
This week, I spoke to Aaron Gordon who wrote “Why the US Sucks at Building Public Transit” for Motherboard. Here's what I wrote about it:
Between 1950 and 2017, the United States constructed 871,496 miles of roads. A better metric is lane-miles, which is one lane of highway for a mile. In the 37 years from 1980 to 2017, the U.S. added 881,918 lane-miles to the existing 8.8 million lane-miles, an 11 percent increase. Urban areas added 30,511 lane-miles since 1993, a 42 percent increase. This was probably misguided, as adding lanes doesn’t really reduce traffic so much as induce more of it. Meanwhile, from 1985 to 2017, the U.S. added 6,247 miles of commuter, heavy and light rail combined. Compare the 195 miles per year of rail added to the 10,017 miles of roads per year a…