Solving Branson's Traffic Problems

If you’ve ever been to Branson, MO, you’ll know that traffic there (at least, during tourist season) is an utter nightmare. The mayor and city fathers have done several things to alleviate the problem, but none of them have worked very well.

  1. Designation of alternate side routes, which deviate from Hwy 76 at an angle. Developers building new attractions are encouraged to build along the Blue Route, Red Route, etc. to alleveiate congestion on Hwy 76. Nice idea, but you still have to travel on Hwy 76 to get from the Blue Route to the Red Route, etc.

  2. Trolleys which traverse the streets. Also a nice idea, but most tourists assume that traffic is just as bad for the trolleys as it is for passenger cars, so they might as well take their own cars.

Well, I have hit upon an idea that may just solve the problem. It will take a lot of planning, a lot of money, and possibly even some chutzpah; but when the tourists start getting used to it, Missouri’s Linear Parking Lot may just beomce a whole lot easier to navigate!

I suggest that Branson install an elevated public transport system, á la Chicago’s elevated trains or the Walt Disney World monorail. In keeping with Branson’s Ozarks / Mining heritage, they could design in to resemble a real train, and build it on platforms built out of wooden beams (reinforced, of course) like those old railroad trusses. They could put fully handicap accessible stops every few hundred yards. This would give tourists an alternative to the road, and may actually encourage them NOT to drive, since the trains wouldn’t be dependent upon street conditions.

What do you think? Have I hit the Mother Lode, or am I having a pipe dream?

Decrease the number of Osmonds per capita.

If I wanted smoke blown up my ass, I’d be at home with a pack of cigarettes and a short length of hose.

I haven’t been to Branson proper… or even the Highway 76 extension of it… since just before it got REALLY popular, but it was bad enough back in the 80s.

The problem is that such a system would be expensive to install. Much of 76 is a ridge-runner; any kind of mass transit running close enough to it to be useful would need a lot of trestles. There really aren’t any parallel streets to 76 which are close enough to matter for the same reason.

When you build the way they built in Branson, (again, it’s not Branson itself that’s the problem, is that most of the development went along one narrow highway running along the top of a range of hills) you’re going to have traffic problems and that’s all there is to it.