Elon Musk may be a smart guy, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do dumb-ass things. Over on InsideEV’s it’s reported that Musk said that “getting rockets into space is easier than navigating the I-405 freeway” and is calling for a widening of the highway. The LA Times quotes him saying “The 405 … varies from bad to horrendous..It just seems people in Los Angeles are being tortured by this.… I don’t know why they aren’t marching in the streets.” It’s apparently something he knows about personally, since his daily commute from Bel Air to the SpaceX headquarters is on I-405.
The City of Los Angeles is working on widening I-405, but the project is stalled. Musk has put his own money into supporting the project, and met with citizen activist groups that seek to unstall the highway expansion.
This is the most backwards idiotic anti-solution that anybody could take to ease gridlock.
The problem is that we as a people are trapped by the land-use nightmare of driving cars on the highway. Cars are the least efficient, in terms of land space usage, method of transporting people from place to place. How? It’s because of the number of people per square mile of road surface.
Expanding the number of square miles dedicated to highways does nothing to ease gridlock. What would ease gridlock is more mass transit systems. Mass transit that carries a higher portion of people per square mile of road surface.
As the CEO of an auto manufacturer, Elon Musk has a vested interest in keeping people trapped in their cars. That is, he has a vested interest in continuing the pattern of individual car ownership. Solving gridlock by deploying mass transit would undermine the product line sold by Tesla Motors.
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