Monday, September 27, 2004

Smart Growth and Smart Diets

Most of the popular media (and others) have been taken on by the cachet of "smart growth" and the many dumb ideas that it includes.

John Tierney, however, got it about right in yesterday's NY Times. He even writes, "... I don't like my own car ... But I no longer believe that my tastes should be public policy ...."

And, referring to experiments, as on the I-15 near San Diego, he notes, "The toll lanes have become so popular that they're being extended 12 miles further out of town, and the concept of variable tolls has become highway engineers' favorite solution to traffic jams. After decades of working on technological fixes like beam-control roads, they've turned to basic economics instead. They now see traffic jams as equivalent of bread lines in the Soviet Union, a consequence of an unimaginative monopoly run by politicians loath to charge the market price for a valuable commodity. To be fair, the Soviet politicians, though, at least they didn't blame the public for the problem they created. They didn't promote a smart-diet program urging people to eat less bread."