I’ve been reading about some of the major urban transit initiatives and how mind bogglingly expensive they are and it seems like a huge bulk of the cost comes down to essentially performing surgery on a city while it’s still breathing. Major traffic disruption is politically untenable so workers are forced to work around the needs of residents.
It made me wonder, has any city considered speculatively pre-building transit infrastructure such that when the density increases to the point that it’s needed, it can be placed in far more cheaply?
Examples of this might be using cut and cover to bore out speculative tunnels which can either become highways or subways when the time comes. Our reserving large strips of land and turning them into parks or some other low value land such that they can be torn out and a highway or light rail system gets installed.
The main determination of how feasible something like this would be is down to how much cheaper it is to build the transit before the city rather than vice versa. If it’s hugely cheaper, then it doesn’t matter if even if the majority of the speculative transit infrastructure never gets used, it still ends up a better option than trying to graft better transit onto an existing city.