You think l that I obsess over traffic?
Check out www.howwedrive.com, the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt's book, "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)."
I haven't seen the New York-based author's book, but the blog makes reference to all sorts of anecdotal and academic research on traffic.
A quote from one researcher cuts close to home, referring to our home-town freeway: "There are approximately 160 off-ramp interchanges along the 401. In total, approximately 8000 acres of land is underutilized as a result of its spatial isolation by the interchange configuration.”
In certain South American cities I have visited, this land (apparently referred to as the "gore area", no pun intended) is indeed utilized - homeless people erect makeshift shelters, right on the grassy areas between the on-ramps and the main road. Upward mobility means moving from a cardboard box to a wooden box.
On some of the ramps on 401 west of the city, ponds (deliberately created or not, I am not sure) are actually homes to families of herons.
Any suggestions as to what we might be able to do with these chunks of valuable real estate? Low-cost housing, as Rio de Janeiro does it? Mini-putts?
Meanwhile, if you want to see what others are saying about traffic problems and potential solutions, you can while away many hours on this blog.
Don't forget to come back!