1.Depressing news from Spain. Will more infrastructure help? The case of Valencia http://bbc.in/UpdKii7 s
2. Andrew Sissons points me to thsi: roads tend to have a much better BCR than rail. (e.g. see bottom of p.37 here: http://www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/roads_and_reality-glaister_et_al-041207.pdf … )
3. on p.38, I find
It is estimated that 89% of current congestion is on urban roads18, and it tends to be worst in the inner and central areas of the largest conurbations, particularly London. However, these are the locations where a combination of mode shift to public transport, traffic management and pricing
have the most to offer, as the densities of destinations favour high capacity services. They are also locations where road building is most difficult and expensive. In London, the scale of the
demand and the density of the destinations justify expansion of existing public transport capacity and major projects such as capacity enhancements to the national rail network, Crossrail and new Underground lines.
4. Russ Roberts and Bob Frank debate infrastructure on Econtalk.
The argument seems to me to be:
a. Valencia shows that trophy projects e.g. opera houses yield low return and
b. The US, according to Russ has a political process is biased towards such projects, or more accurately, he asks why all this seemingly essential infrastruture has not been spent on.
c. My personal view is that this is why the UK MP expenses scandal is so very toxic: it has poisoned the notion that UK governments can make good decisions.