Question: why in a state as lean as Florida, and as exposed to hurricanes, has there evolved no more efficient means of evacuation than exhorting millions of residents to swarm along a very few northbound highways? After all these years, why has no more sensible provision been made?
For instance, why could not residents drive to certain designated (preferably elevated) sites in their neighborhoods—shopping malls, schools, churches—and be collected there by local buses at designated intervals? The buses could then take their passengers to the depot of a train whose rails would have been laid expressly for the purpose of shuttling refugees from A to B as fast as possible. Two or three such trains could follow essentially the same route to high, safe ground in northern Florida or southern Georgia.
The trains would probably provide little service except in times of disaster (though I don’t see why they couldn’t be somewhat commercialized; Florida is pretty good at Disney-fying things). They would surely operate at a loss overall, to be sure… but compare that loss to the massive consumption of gas (forbidden to be sold at price-gouging rates), the spiraling civil disorder that approaches chaos in some places, and the real loss of life due to being stranded for days on exposed roadways or persuaded to stay home by highway death-traps. The express-trains-in-waiting begin to look like a much better investment.
For that matter, why is there not such a service ready to go in all major cities? How would New York evacuate in the event of a serious nuclear bomb threat? What would Frisco do if Kim Jong Scum managed to heave one of his Chinese toys past our defenses and the populace had about an hour’s warning?
Why are we relying on cars occupied, most often, by two persons (or even one), to save enormous urban populations from catastrophe within hours on roads that carry two or three lanes of traffic? Why do we prepare for major, foreseeable threats with such cavalier indifference, bordering on insanity?