America - its all a bit odd...

Let me get this right - a third of the USA is under roads or parking lots? I am not doubting your word but that seems a lot to me, especially as anyone who flies across the US sees a large amount of nothing - vast open spaces that have never even been put to the plough, massive forests, huge areas of desert, mountain ranges and so on. Hmmm....

It's cobblers.

Urban areas in America occupy about 2% of the land space.

Roads occupy less than half of 1%.
 
It's cobblers.

Urban areas in America occupy about 2% of the land space.

Roads occupy less than half of 1%.

Someone else has done the maths, albeit 20 years ago.

This from 2001.

The U.S., with its 214 million motor vehicles, has paved 3.9 million miles of roads, enough to circle the earth at the equator 157 times. In addition to roads, cars require parking space. Imagine a parking lot for 214 million cars and trucks. If that is too difficult, try visualizing a parking lot for 1,000 cars and then imagine what 214,000 of these would look like.

However we visualize it, the U.S. area devoted to roads and parking lots covers an estimated 61,000 square miles, an expanse approaching the size of the 51.9 million acres that U.S. farmers planted in wheat last year.

[Note: 640 acres in a square mile. 61,000 square miles times 640 equals 39,040,000 acres. This is not near 51.9 million acres.]

link
Pavement is replacing the world's croplands


61,000/3,794,083*100=1.6 percent. [If 61,000 is correct]

 
Or maybe a third of city areas under tarmac? Probably similar in London, even in an urban area there's lots of green bits.

That's what I was thinking as I was just out on the beer run.

One third of the USA cities being parking and tarmac (rather than actual buildings) would make some sort of sense. One third of the US landmass is ludicrous.

Even then I would be doubtful. 60% of London (thats the GLC area, which is not really all of "London" as the city overbounds it's legal boundaries) is open space. 47% of London's acreage is green.
 
Someone else has done the maths, albeit 20 years ago.

This from 2001.

The U.S., with its 214 million motor vehicles, has paved 3.9 million miles of roads, enough to circle the earth at the equator 157 times. In addition to roads, cars require parking space. Imagine a parking lot for 214 million cars and trucks. If that is too difficult, try visualizing a parking lot for 1,000 cars and then imagine what 214,000 of these would look like.

However we visualize it, the U.S. area devoted to roads and parking lots covers an estimated 61,000 square miles, an expanse approaching the size of the 51.9 million acres that U.S. farmers planted in wheat last year.

[Note: 640 acres in a square mile. 61,000 square miles times 640 equals 39,040,000 acres. This is not near 51.9 million acres.]

link
Pavement is replacing the world's croplands


61,000/3,794,083*100=1.6 percent. [If 61,000 is correct]


Yeah, I would go with that.

On the caveat that a lot of that road is in urban areas so that 1.6% is pretty much the same as the 2% urban/0.5% paved I quoted.

However you slice and dice our respective numbers it is clearly nowhere near 33%.
 

Eyes_Right

Old-Salt
Let me get this right - a third of the USA is under roads or parking lots? I am not doubting your word but that seems a lot to me, especially as anyone who flies across the US sees a large amount of nothing - vast open spaces that have never even been put to the plough, massive forests, huge areas of desert, mountain ranges and so on. Hmmm....

Apologies, I was employing hyperbolic exaggeration (as my old drill instructor used to say) to make the point that any developed area in the US needs masses of parking space, rarely in the form of a multi-story building outside of major cities. This means popular places are characterized by vast soulless parking lots, rather than something with a bit more charm.
 
It's also a cultural issue. In the States, successful capitalists own cars, we do not share public transport with the hoi polloi. Public transport is for ethnic minorities and people who did not work hard in school. That is why the surface area of the country is approximately 33% tarmac or concrete parking areas. Rail is massively inefficient, and is made deliberately so, in order to avoid upsetting the lobbyists from the transport industry. It's funny that Beardie and his mob (Virgin) are currently building a high speed rail link between Miami and Orlando Airport with lots of subsidies and tax breaks, but the actual business model for making a profit seems to have gone AWOL.

One interesting data point is in less than 2 years, the alligator infested swamp between Cocoa, Florida and Orlando alongside the Beach-line (528) highway has been turned into a high speed rail line, just awaiting track laying. The new link utilizes existing freight lines and is a total of 170 miles, needed 48 new bridges, 6 major tunnels and upgrades to 155 railroad crossings. It will eventually take just over 3 years to complete.

In that same time frame, UK Government planners have sent 2 strongly worded letters to Swampy, asking him to get out of his tree near Solihull, and overspent the job by an additional GBP25 Billion.
I hate to disagree with you, but If 1/3 of the landmass in the US was blacktop, I must have missed it.
 
I hate to disagree with you, but If 1/3 of the landmass in the US was blacktop, I must have missed it.

That's what happens when you live in the back of beyond.;)
 
It's also a cultural issue. In the States, successful capitalists own cars, we do not share public transport with the hoi polloi.
Successful capitalists would know there's no need for the definite article before 'Hoi Polloi'

Kids today, I dunno.
 

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