Commentary

Gridlockóget used to it

That’s essentially the thesis of long-time transportation guru Anthony Downs in this Brookings Policy Brief. Nothing, he says, will rescue us from congestion. Not pricing, not increasing roadway capacity, not increasing transit: Even if America’s existing transit capacity were tripled and fully utilized … that would reduce all morning private vehicle trips by only 8.0 percentââ?¬â??certainly progress, but hardly enough to end congestionââ?¬â??and tripling transit capacity would be extremely costly. While Downs says there’s no way to end congestion, there are ways to slow its rate of increase, including HOT Lanes andââ?¬â??in some casesââ?¬â??building roads.

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.