From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Traffic, Incentives and Cynicism

January 8, 2006 4:45 PM

Apparently, the traffic experts have resigned themselves to constant gridlock, and the future is all about letting people buy their way out of gridlock. Parallel highways run by for-profit corporations where the price goes up based on demand (traffic).

Doesn't anyone see the problem with this? The corporations make more money the more gridlock there is. So there is a natural incentive for them to lobby government to NOT address traffic congestion. It goes straight to their bottom line. The corporation's worst fear would be less traffic.

How is that in our best interests?

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Traffic, Incentives and Cynicism (01.08.2006)

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Read the 5 comments.


Peak Oil is going to force people out of cars and onto buses, and the corporations know this. They need to get those new roads built before they become redundant.

Sun Jan 8 2006 9:33 PM


At least this one you can't blame on Bush. This is happening in the liberal bastions of Washington DC and, sadly, in my home-state California.

Sun Jan 8 2006 9:53 PM


A lot of traffic problems would go away if folks quit buying homes 50 miles away from where they work every day. I understand that this is a problem in some places like San Fran where real estate is too pricey to live close to work, but it makes no sense in other parts of the country.

If you work in the city, why do you have to live out in the suburbs? Maybe because you have a crime problem and don't want to fix it? Fix the cities so folks can live in them and traffic will be reduced.

I live 1 mile from my workplace and have a lot more time and freedom, not to mention small gas bills. Nearly everyone else I work with commutes from over 30 minutes away and that flock clogs the freeways every morning.

Mon Jan 9 2006 1:15 AM


I completely agree with Anonymous above me. Additionally, if the U.S. would seriously invest in mass transit - even light rail - we'd take a huge step in the right direction. Many mass transit/metro systems are totally in adequate in U.S. cities (see Washington D.C., Los Angeles, etc). There will always be gridlock if everyone wants their own personal metal box. We should look to other areas of the world for solutions.

Mon Jan 9 2006 11:15 AM


Light rail projects have been a complete failure in Seattle and wasted millions, but I agree that if folks didn't feel the need to move as far away as possible from wherever they commute to, it sure would help. Here we have the opposite problem, people live in the city and actually commute to suburbs! What is that all about? Now there is gridlock in both directions all day. The bus system here is fairly successful, but not flexible enough for most folks to give up their cars.

Mon Jan 9 2006 3:09 PM

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