Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The headline says it all

We don't "endure" congestion; we are congestion.

Thanks Vanessa for sending me this interesting critique of the media spin on the recent report of increased traffic congestion.
What's unmentioned here is that there isn't a difference between us and congestion; when we're driving, we are congestion. So, the only way to "relieve traffic" is to get people out of their cars by providing realistic, accessible alternatives to driving. It's a pretty obvious conclusion, but one that rarely comes up in media coverage of the annual TTI report. Splashy headlines, presumably, are easier than digging into the data.
This is what's so hard about planning transportation systems. Car drivers benefit from a huge subsidy, then they don't pay for their negative externalities. There would be so much room to better society if we could just solve this better.

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