Elon Musk Has Massive Thoughts, But Can Metropolitan areas Make Them a Actuality?


His eyesight for a community of tunnels in Los Angeles and Chicago shows that even the most recent know-how has its boundaries.&#13

Daniel C. Vock&#13
  |  &#13
August 2018&#13

New technology has been the key to Elon Musk’s results as a organization chief, but 1 of his latest ventures — a strategy to offer with Los Angeles’ website traffic congestion — exhibits that even the most recent know-how has its boundaries when confronting age-previous challenges.

Musk’s idea is to establish a 2.7-mile tunnel on L.A.’s Westside below Sepulveda Boulevard. Vehicles would use it by driving onto a “skate” at ground degree. The skate would be reduced into the tunnel on an elevator, and then would be whisked along at speeds of far more than 100 mph to the car’s vacation spot.

Even while the tunnel system is a private undertaking, Musk is asking for the support of condition and community officials in bypassing or expediting environmental opinions for the challenge. The Los Angeles Metropolis Council has accepted the route and mentioned it is exempt from point out environmental testimonials, but two community groups have sued to reverse that choice.

Most transportation professionals, nonetheless, are dubious that Musk’s tunnels will at any time are living up to his claims — if they get built at all. 1 typical criticism is that the queuing process for cars and trucks could build big bottlenecks on current streets. It won’t subject how fast the motor vehicles journey underground if there’s a extended hold out to even get into the program. “Enjoy the lines at Disneyland? You will adore Elon Musk’s thought for transit,” warned one Los Angeles Periods op-ed.

A very similar discussion is getting position in Chicago, where by Musk has floated a various significant-velocity transit plan that would work with trains but would also include an elaborate tunnel.

To construct a larger network of tunnels in L.A., Musk and his Unexciting Organization would have to go by environmental reviews that would probable acquire decades and could expose unexpected complications. What’s additional, tunneling by way of Los Angeles can be difficult, supplied that it is an earthquake-susceptible spot with tons of abandoned oil wells. Neighborhood teams and metropolitan areas might decide to block construction on those people grounds alone. In fact, Musk’s exam tunnel stops just small of Culver Town simply because of environmental opposition from town officers there. And securing the appropriate-of-way, even underground, guarantees to be complex.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti looks undeterred. “Who appreciates regardless of whether it will strike or not, but isn’t it worthy of making an attempt?” he states. “And really do not we as Us citizens want to see our systems get the job done and then be used suitable in our very own backyard rather of China or Dubai or other places that seem to be far more threat-taking?”