Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

Would Angelinos really prefer to travel like Parisian straphangers?

Ted Balaker
July 17, 2006, 2:34pm

We often assume that severe congestion equals bad mobility. It's true that increasing congestion means that mobility is worse than it used to be, but often mobility in a highly-congested auto-oriented place is still better than transit-oriented alternatives. Here's University of Chicago's Robert Bruegmann reacting to the complaints of gridlock-weary Angelinos: Buegmann explains that as the anti-road mentality became more popular, LA decided to spend big on rail transit. And yet transit accounted for less than 2 percent of trips in the LA area in 2003, which is actually a smaller share than 20 years ago: And we shouldn't be so quick to use a city-vs.-suburbs framework. Economic growth in suburbia need not come at the expense of cities. Cities and suburbs can succeed together. In fact, as Bruegmann points out in his new book, much urban gentrification took hold thanks to suburbanization. It's only after manufacturing companies moved out of the city that goateed hipsters could turn the vacated buildings into airy lofts. Back to LA: Entire LAT piece is here.

Ted Balaker is Producer

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