No. of Recommendations: 3
One of the saddest things I've read in the last couple years was "The Power Broker" by Robert Caro, which is a Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Robert Moses, who was the biggest power in NYC development for ~40 years from the mid 20s to the 60s. He designed and built huge proportion of the modern highways and bridges in and around NYC. He was a visionary genius at accumulating and using political power, though he was never elected to any office, and unfortunately he had a very negative view of trains and subways, so during his reign he starved the region of investment in the subways and trains while massively building out the infrastructure serving cars and trucks.

For some reason, despite being a genius about many things, he never recognized the massive and growing problem with traffic congestion that he created, and in the designs for highways to service what is now Kennedy Airport, when it was being built, he pointed rejected building subways/trains to serve it, or even buying up enough extra right of way along with the highways to build trains there in the future, which at the time would have been a relatively minor additional expense but which since became orders of magnitude more expensive as the city developed around the new roads. He did this despite contemporaneous studies showing that there was no possible way that the highways he was building could possibly serve the size airport they were building without immediately becoming intractably congested ... as proved true.

He always believed that he could fix the congestion with more highways and bridges, completely overlooking the fact that subways and trains are vastly more efficient at moving the masses in such a large dense city.
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