I tend to agree that there is some hypocrisy in the conservative/libertarian world when it comes to transportation, which is part of the reason I started this blog. A more free-market transporation system would certainly lead to a more urban land use pattern; something between pre-auto, transit-reliant density and current auto-reliant sprawling suburbs. Regardless, market-based solutions will lead to a denser land use pattern in the long-run. This article discusses governement’s role in infrastructure and some libertarian free-market advocates’ strange love affair with government planned highways:
Is transportation like education, a communal service that works best through heavy general funding that pays off down the road in a community’s overall prosperity, or is it best delivered by targeting users, especially road users through congestion pricing to reduce demand and increase revenues?
Also: King of the Road
They seem to see a highway as an expression of the free market and of American individualism, and a rail line as an example of government meddling and creeping socialism.
However, the above article portrays the government as the hero for overspending on highways, but what do you expect from a magazine named Governing?
Rationalitate: Libertarians for Statism on the Governing article:
“[o]ur national road system would never have been built if every street were required to pay for itself.” Yeah, that’s exactly the point! Our “national road system” is the problem, and the author’s implication is that not only would there be no “national road system,” but that roads are indeed synonymous with transportation. But just because we wouldn’t have trillion-dollar pavement stretching across the continent doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be able to get across the continent – or, more importantly, wherever it is that we want to go.