Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

Learning to Love Congestion in Portland

Leonard Gilroy
December 13, 2005, 11:15am

Speaking of Portland, looks like they can't afford to build new roads to help reduce congestion: Randal O'Toole makes an astute observation on this: Good question. Call me naive, but I believe that most taxpayers would find this a really compelling question with an obvious response -- "hmmmm...when you put it that way, spending gobs on transit seems like throwing money into a black hole." O'Toole adds more: Makes a ton of sense, but perhaps too much sense for the planners who've invested so much into smart growth and transit-oriented development. Basing spending on performance -- performance at reducing congestion, that is -- runs counter to the very core of their belief system: transit must be pursued at all costs (literally). For them, reducing congestion is far less important of a goal than reengineering society with the aim of getting citizens to make the "right" transportation choices.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform

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