DC Decongestant

The Washington Examiner has had it with congested thinking, and I’m pleased to report the paper is using our book to (try to) open some eyes and decongest DC:

We wondered how open local officials are to new thinking, so a month ago, The Washington Examiner sent a copy of “The Road More Traveled” to each member of the Montgomery and Fairfax boards. We asked them to read the book ââ?¬â?? which is well-written, factual and concise ââ?¬â?? then tell us their reaction. The deadline was Friday and we said their responses or lack of would be published. The book was written by Ted Balaker and Sam Staley. They uncovered mountains of data and other evidence that discounts most conventional wisdom on transportation policy among federal bureaucrats, state functionaries in Richmond and Annapolis and the Fairfax and Montgomery fiefdoms. The book has been widely praised by this newspaper and The Washington Post, plus a rapidly growing list of government officials, academic experts and private sector executives looking for new approaches to reduce or even eliminate traffic congestion. (Yes, it’s been done in major cities elsewhere and it can be done here, too.) In short, “The Road More Traveled” is chock full of fresh thinking about one the biggest worries facing most of us living in the Washington region ââ?¬â?? what’s the traffic like out there today. It’s a significant book that local officials need to read, just as many elsewhere already have. Despite several follow-up reminder calls and e-mails, only Andrews read the book and then told us what he thought of it.

Whole thing here.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.

Ted is the director of Can We Take a Joke?, a Korchula Productions feature documentary about the collision between comedy and outrage culture featuring comedians such as Gilbert Gottfried, Penn Jillette, Jim Norton, Lisa Lampanelli, and Adam Carolla. Ted is producing Little Pink House, a Korchula Productions feature narrative about about Susette Kelo's historic fight to save her beloved home and neighborhood. The film stars two-time Academy Award nominee Catherine Keener (Capote, Being John Malkovich, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and Emmy nominee Jeanne Tripplehorn (Big Love, The Firm, Basic Instinct).

Ted produced the award-winning shorts The Conversation and Cute Couple. He is an executive producer on the feature documentary Honor Flight, and produced the film's first trailer, which attracted more than 4.5 million views. The Honor Flight premiere attracted an audience of more than 28,000 and set the Guinness World Record for largest film screening in history.

Ted is a founding member of ReasonTV, where he produced hundreds of videos and documentary shorts, including Raiding California, which introduced a nationwide audience to the Charles Lynch medical marijuana case.

Ted is co-creator of The Drew Carey Project, a series of documentary shorts hosted by Drew Carey, and creator of the comedic series Don't Cops Have Better Things to Do? and Nanny of the Month.

His ReasonTV contributions have been featured by The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, and on the he John Stossel Special Bailouts and Bull, a first-of-its-kind joint project between ABC News and ReasonTV.

During Ted's tenure, ReasonTV received the Templeton Freedom Award for Innovative Media and in 2008 Businessweek recognized his short Where's My Bailout? (created with Courtney Balaker) as among the best of bailout humor.

Prior to joining Reason, Ted spent five years producing at ABC Network News, producing hour-long specials and 20/20 segments on topics ranging from free speech to addiction.

Ted's written work has appeared in dozens of publications, including The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Reason magazine, The Washington Post, and USA TODAY. He is the author or co-author of 11 studies on topics ranging from urban policy to global trade, and his research has been presented before organizations such as the Mont Pelerin Society and the American Economic Association.

Ted is co-author (with Sam Staley) of the book The Road More Traveled (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), which Chapman University's Joel Kotkin says "should be required reading, not only for planners and their students, but for anyone who loves cities and wants them to thrive."

Ted has appeared on many radio and television programs, including ABC World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News, and has interviewed hundreds of thinkers and innovators, ranging from X Prize recipient and private spaceflight pioneer Burt Rutan to Templeton Prize-winning biologist and philosopher Francisco Ayala.

Ted graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Irvine with degrees in political science and English.