If the idea of bringing Metro to Woodbridge as a solution to all of the transportation problems in the Route One corridor doesn’t pan out, Delegate Paul Nichols has a fascinating fallback plan.
But if the Metro plan Nichol’s envisions does not work, he quipped Thursday there is another way to bail residents out of gridlock.
“Build sidewalks on 95. People will walk to work and they will walk home,” he said.
I think Democrats ought to roll creative ideas like this one into their health care proposals. Folks, this is policy synergy.
I admit it’s a little far out for “forward thinking.” We’re not going to get Metro to Woodbridge for twenty to thirty years, if ever. So realisticallly, we won’t know for about ten years at best whether we need to implement this option. Sidewalk construction for a twenty-two mile stretch between Woodbridge and the Pentagon would probably take three years to complete, and more if there are environmental studies and litigation involved. So call this a fifteen year plan. I’d like to see something in the five-to-ten year range, but this is a constructive proposal and for transportation ideas, not terribly outside of a reasonable time horizon.
What I find so fascinating about this idea is that having federal workers and contractors, who probably would utilize this the most, run two daily marathons instead of sitting in their cars and pouring greenhouse gases into the atmosphere while they idle on Interstate 95 would absolutely reduce healthcare costs for both government and local businesses. Anyone healthy enough to log nearly fifty miles on their tennis shoes a day isn’t going to be at much risk of developing diabetes, they won’t be smokers, and there’s no way they could be abusing drugs or alcohol. Those that do would collapse and die at some point early in their first week, and dead folks don’t consume healthcare resources, which would again save money. Barack Obama, are you listening here?
Democrats like to solve things “comprehensively”, rolling a bunch of policy initiatives into one big program where the individual components complement each other. By taking Delegate Nichols’ bold transportation ideas and coupling them with President Obama’s proposals to nationalize health care, rolling this out across the country would easily get us the $500 billion savings for a healthcare “public option”, significantly address greenhouse gas emissions, and solve gridlock everywhere from Los Angeles to D.C. It’s been tried before, and worked well, and I’m impressed that Paul Nichols decided to think “outside of the box” here and come up with a compelling policy alternative.
When was the last time you heard complaints about traffic gridlock, carbon emissions, or exploding diabetes rates in Vietnam?
As the debate over transportation policy alternatives continues, I hope Republican Rich Anderson will similarly unveil something new and innovative to help commuters in Prince William County overcome gridlock. So far, all his proposals seem to be pretty boring — leverage existing resources better, expand high speed rail, and bring jobs to Prince William County so people won’t have to commute, for example. Yeah, they mighht actually work, but who is going to get excited about stuff like that? If Anderson is going to keep up with the kind of innovation displayed by Paul Nichols, he’s going to have to really reach out of the box with something like investing in flying cars, shooting commuters to work in giant circus cannons, or a crach program to develop teleportation technology, like we’ve seen in Star-Trek.
Walking (or running) to work on a 22.5 mile-long sidewalk next to I-95. Absolutely brilliant.
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