In traffic congestion. San Francisco is #2. The Texas Transportation Institute just released its annual report on congestion (you can get the full report here). As expected, congestion is getting worse everywhere. Although the report offers a wide array of recommendations, it once again complicates the argument, repeated often but rarely questioned, that “we can’t build our way out of congestion.” Traffic increases. What do you do? A. Build roads to keep up with increased demand. B. Don’t build roads. The areas that chose A did the best job of keeping congestion under control. The areas that chose B, suffered the worst increases in congestion. Says the report: “It is clear that adding roadway at about the same rate as traffic grows will slow the growth of congestion.” Last year’s report made the same point, however most reporters didn’t pay much attention to it. Don’t expect them to make much of it this year, either.
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.