Commentary

Should we love traffic?

Some researchers seem to say that — instead of cursing and waving our arms — we should blow kisses to our fellow commuters. After all, they’re letting us reflect on all the economic activity that surrounds us. From the LA Times: “Congestion is a sign that a lot of good things are happening,” said Brian Taylor, director of UCLA’s Institute of Transportation Studies. That outlook is echoed by other nationally prominent researchers who are writing papers and delivering speeches with such titles as “Learning to Love Congestion.” Several of these contrarians also argue that officially touted costs of congestion have been overblown and that too much money has been squandered on expensive projects, such as the $4.5-billion Los Angeles subway, that offer little congestion relief. Rather than endorsing such projects, a couple of experts suggest, a stressed-out motorist should take a deep breath, pop in a favorite CD and learn to tolerate ââ?¬â?? even appreciate ââ?¬â?? what sitting in traffic means.

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.