Friday, April 12, 2013


Readers of this blog know that I have been flogging certain ideas for many years. There is no "traffic doomsday" because people are not stupid lemmings.  In spite of the policy failure of too few road pricing projects (and pockets of congestion), overall traffic in U.S. cities is not that bad.  The 2009 NHTS big-city 24-hour averages for solo auto one way journey-to-work were 28 minutes (New York metro area), 26 minutes (Los Angeles area), 27 minutes (Chicago area), etc.  The Atlanta metro area was the worst at 31 minutes.  The co-location of workers and their employers is in each sides' interest.

Wendell Cox pounces on urban data faster than any man alive and reports that U.S. Suburbs Approach Jobs-Housing Balance.  "Balance" is one of those unfortunate terms but it has made its way into the short list of urban planner's policy ambitions.  I understand that policies that get in the way of location choice can extend trip lengths, but short of challenging these, we can expect workers and employers to look after the commute. To be sure, both sides make complex trade-offs along the way; they have other worries and priorities. These can only be attended to by the individuals involved. The only policy worth considering is one that assures that policies do not get in the way.