MORE SHREWD OBSERVATION FROM KRUGMAN
Dense about density
Right now, I’m on New Jersey Transit, near Rahway. Around me is a
post-apocalyptic wastelanddense development as far as the eye can see. And not a buffalo in sight.
And you know what? A large fraction of the American population lives in places like this. Yes, America overall has low density, but many of us live in high-density corridors; very few of us live in the wide open spaces. That’s why arguments that, say, we can’t have high-speed rail, because America’s population density is so low, are profoundly stupid. Which does not, of course, stop them from being made.
So this rigorous evaluation understands the difference between sprawling suburbs and say tokyo, london, or ny? How about an analysis of persons per square mile who are traveling to the same square mile area? The truth is that we don’t go from the same general area to work as other people in our own general area. Sorry, but anywhere outside of square miles of high rises, the differences between where neighbors live and work isn’t sufficient to justify rail.