We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Nathaniel Baum-Snow of Brown University found that each new highway passing through a central city reduces its population by about 18 percent. The home mortgage interest deduction further encouraged suburbanization, because rental units are disproportionately in cities while owner-occupied homes are disproportionately distant from city centers.
Note - sorry, those older links are now behind a paywall. Greedy capitalists at the Boston Globe are messing up our efforts to give them business.
Don't worry. If things go well we can all live like Portland Oregon. We pushed the poor renters out into the hinterlands (suburbs) and took over the city. Commies call it "gentrification" which means "white people who want to live close to the office".
Now all the minorities can ride the bus for hours on end just to make $8/hr. cleaning our houses.
You see, either way you work it, the ride is subsidized.
Is it subsidized? The vast bulk of the "tax" supporting highway construction and maintenance at state and federal level is tax on motor fuel, which much of the academic literature classifies with tolls as "user fees". In fact this source of funding is often raided for balancing general funds (TN) or subsidizing mass-transit systems.
Is the sprawl because of highways? Looking beyond Baum-Snow’s sample, we examine European cities that also experience significant suburbanization, and we find no evidence that a highway that pierces the central city makes any difference to central-city population change.
(Citation: Cox, Gordon, and Redfearn 2008)
So you want to force people to live where you want? I choose not to live in ghettos, which is what big cities always become. I will never send my kids to schools where they learn about getting beat up by gangs of blacks while administrators worry about "preserving diversity and tolerance". Cities always become liberal, I choose to not live there.
Anti-sprawl efforts are part of the liberal plan to force the rest of us to live their way, because in cities people are more dependent on the govt.
This is simple to rebut. We the People charge our government to build roads. Goverments (i.e. We the People) are happy to build roads because the governments collect more in additional tax receipts than it costs to build and maintain roads. Wealthy governments enable nice places to live, and if We the People force our governments to concentrate on keeping the place nice, the tax receipt increases just keep rolling in.
In the cities, the supply of horizontal is fixed, so cities build vertical with buses and trains.
Your objections are misplaced.
(The true source of your objection is that the governments invariably start mis-spending tax revenues (free money!) on stupid stuff and giving it to their friends, and starve the maintenance and upkeep of the public spaces. Which makes the public space upkeep look like a burden. And which then decreases tax receipts.)
And the Interstate Highways are for national defense. Lt. Eisenhower had a heck of a time in the 1920's trying to move an army unit across the country, on the terrible muddy county roads of the time. The Interstate Highway system and the Moon landings were built with the surplus wealth we accumulated by winning WWII. The Interstates are a necessary expenditure if we are to successfully defend our country.
We tend to forget that cities exist for the benefit of people and not the other way around. If you're not reasonably wealthy [or upwardly mobile and intend to become wealthy] cities suck. They do indeed have certain useful parts, but those are frequently outweighed by the negatives.
If cities are so great, why do the wealthy inhabitants spend so many resources avoiding the sucky parts?
Trading a longish commute for less suck makes sense to all but the central planners who by dint of their profession are allowed to avoid the sucky parts they want the rest of us to have endure.
Those "fuel tax" supported highways don't just bring in commuters, they feed the urban cores, facilitate the movement of goods and promote tourism. I suppose you could make law that no local could use the roads for personal travel but then the jobs would just move out into the suburbs where the workers live.
In any case, the "long commutes" are going the way of the do do as jobs either don't need centralized locations or they move out of the urban center due to cost and difficulty "downtown" adds to the work.