Many years ago doing research on the history of a trail project, I was struck by the fleeting nature of this country’s canal and railroad transportation networks. Enormous amounts of capital and effort were put towards establishing networks that lasted less than one hundred years. Granted, elements still continue today, but they are a shadow of their former selves. Right now we are fifty some years into developing our national highway system. It makes you wonder what it will look like fifty some years down the road.
On the other hand, the longevity and functionality of the pedestrian systems of our older cities are beginning to look like a pretty solid long-lasting transportation investment.