Over the weekend, I was asked my thoughts on the tunnels and the new video about them put out by YouPlusMedia. It is a valuable discussion and I appreciate their work in this direction. Honest dialog is critical to the health of downtown. As the video shows, one lone voice in the wilderness got shouted down by ideologues and sycophants. The following is my response regarding the tunnels and their future.
You'll see that I veer from the predictable answer, "grunt tunnels bad grunt" and would rather explain why they didn't work. They don't reduce connectivity and mobility but attempt to increase it. Unfortunately, other forces at work stripped downtown of population and desirability, thus reducing need for increased network complexity. As you'll see though, even the densest cities in the world can barely maintain a 3-dimensional grid. Without density we're left with too much retail and too many conduits or corridors thereby not focusing the energy of people and movement into a more orderly and logical network of market responsive clusters and linkages.
The full response is as follows: