I’m sure I’ve complained about this before, but every time I use the Capitol South Metro station I’m re-enraged by Congress’s view that the best use for the parcel of land immediately adjoining the station is . . . a surface parking lot!
Subways are wonderful, but they’re expensive to build. Really, really expensive. You can’t just throw up another line or another station on a whim. Consequently, metropolitan areas who’ve invested in building them have a real responsibility to use the land near the stations in an efficient way — buildings with offices, houses, and shops rather than parking lots. Obviously Congress, by its nature, is insulated from the market forces that might otherwise compel someone to do something more useful with this valuable land. But they always have the option of doing the right thing.