I simply wonder what happens when one of millions of drivers with a room temperature IQ stalls on the track just in front of a train moving in excess of 100 miles per hour. I suspect that the outcome will not be pretty--or cheap. But never mind the stupid people you see out there driving everyday, think too of the countless Islamic terrorists we have roaming the country at will. They'd use a truck or a bus on the rail, just to be sure and the FBI or ATF will probably arrange financing for it.
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait used to have a policy when I lived there that left all wrecks where they ended up after they departed the highways, as displays of excessive enthusiasm and the penalties for reckless and stupid driving. That, or they were too cheap to hire a tow truck to drive off the road onto the sand to fetch back the tortured chunks of metal and dispose of them.
Ms. McArdle cited the traffic jams that clog the Northeast Corridor and ventures that maglev high speed rail could offer some relief, but not much. I have some cunning alternatives.
- Copy London's policy of only allowing cars into the city after they pay an additional road tax. There will be a blizzard of license plate thefts.
- Go London one better and forbid cars access to the city at all based on whether the car has an alternate or even ending number. Forbid all cars with vanity plates. There will be a blizzard of license plate thefts.
- Follow the socialist models in vogue in western Europe and limit the workweeks to 2 days and 3 days every other week. Motorists are fined if they enter the city on days when they are not working in the city. Your average suburban dweller would be permitted to work 2 days one week, 3 days the next week. Think of the enormous reduction in deadly green house gasses. What could be fairer than that? It's progressive!
Cities, A Place Where Work Gets Done. Entry to the city after 1800 is open and unlimited so people can hang out at theaters, restaurants and bistros.
*Tongue jammed firmly in cheek.