Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Newsweek on the Times Square Plan

Linky. And perhaps the best quote I have ever read from a mainstream journalist:
In general terms, traffic is caused by too much demand (from vehicles) meeting too little supply (roads). One solution is to increase supply by building more roads. But that's expensive, and demand from drivers tends to quickly overwhelm the new supply; today engineers acknowledge that building new roads usually makes traffic worse.
Hallelujah. Except, that is traffic engineers NOT in the sun belt. Ya know, because we're like five years behind the times. You'd think the spread of information available on the internet would have solved that problem.
Instead, economists have suggested reducing demand by raising the costs of driving in congested areas. The best-known example is the "congestion pricing" plan London implemented in 2003. Drivers now pay about $11 a day to drive in the central city. According to one study, the program has reduced traffic by 16 percent.

I am against congestion pricing. There are other ways to reduce demand. One is to simply make it more difficult to drive around everywhere. It HAS to be more convenient to utilize alternate forms of transportation, i.e. train, bus, bike, and foot.