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The Road More Traveled: Why the Congestion Crisis Matters More Than You Think, and What We Can Do About It download epub

by Ted Balaker,Sam Staley


Epub Book: 1159 kb. | Fb2 Book: 1882 kb.

Staley has more than 25 years of experience working in urban policy and has written more than 80 professional . To wit: no device enhances personal mobility more than an automobile.

To wit: no device enhances personal mobility more than an automobile.

You'll learn how we can reclaim our mobility if we are willing to follow successful examples from overseas, where innovations in infrastructure and privatization have made other nations stronger and more competitive. Balaker spent five years with ABC Network News producing pieces on a wide array of issues, including privatization, government reform, regulation, addiction, the environment, and transportation policy.

The Road More Traveled is an important wake-up call to us all, but especially to policy makers and .

The Road More Traveled is an important wake-up call to us all, but especially to policy makers and transportation officials.

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Includes bibliographical references and index. Mobility matters more than you think. The speed of life - What mobility has created - Congestion matters more than you think. Slowing economic life - Stopping life - Why congestion keeps getting worse. Ten myths about car-crazy suburbia - The congestion coalition - The solution. Learning from overseas - Houston and Texas takes the congestion bull by the horns - Bringing customer service to the road - Getting from here to there : ten congestion busters - Toward the road more traveled. By thoroughly debunking the myths that keep our policy makers trapped in traffic, this book argues that we can and should build our way out of congestion and into a fast-paced future. The Road More Traveled.

The Road More Traveled : Why the Congestion Crisis Matters More Than You Think, and What We Can Do about It. by Sam Staley and Ted Balaker. Though often dismissed as a minor if irritating nuisance, congestion's insidious effects constrain our personal and professional lives, making it harder to find a good job, spend time with our family, and maintain profitable businesses. After centuries of building our cities into bustling centers of commerce and culture, we are beginning to slow down.

why the congestion crisis matters more than you think, and what we can do about it. by Theodore Balaker, Sam Staley, Ted Balaker. What mobility has created. Congestion matters more than you think. Slowing economic life. Why congestion keeps getting worse. Ten myths about car-crazy suburbia. The congestion coalition.

Ted Balaker, a fellow at the Reason Foundation, and Sam Staley, the director of the organization’s urban and land use policy, are the authors of The Road More Traveled: Why the Congestion Crisis Matters More Than You Think, and What We Can Do About It. A version of this op-ed.

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Though often dismissed as a minor if irritating nuisance, congestion's insidious effects constrain our personal and professional lives, making it harder to find a good job, spend time with our family, and maintain profitable businesses. After centuries of building our cities into bustling centers of commerce and culture, we are beginning to slow down. The Road More Traveled shines a new light on the problem of traffic congestion in this easily accessible book.You'll learn how we can reclaim our mobility if we are willing to follow successful examples from overseas, where innovations in infrastructure and privatization have made other nations stronger and more competitive. By thoroughly debunking the myths that keep our policy makers trapped in traffic, the book argues that we can and should build our way out of congestion and into a fast-paced future.

Comments: (4)

Dominator
Balaker and Staley express a free market point of view on transportation, which is consistent with the views of their employer, the Reason Institute. This point of view is that unlimited economic growth and maximum growth in GDP are inherently good and best reflects people's individual choices. If this is your point of view you will tend to agree with the book. The book is well argued within that perspective.

Especially in the area of transportation the free market perspective is fundamentally flawed. The authors dismiss concerns about the oil supply. They argue that because there were predictions in the late 1800's that oil was about to run out that current predictions about Peak Oil can be easily dismissed. They cite Morris Adelman and Peter Huber who believe that with a free market and adequate incentives the energy supply is essentailly infinite. They ignore M. King Hubbert who in 1956 accurately predicted a 1970 peak for U.S. oil production. They also ignore the fact that the U.S. is now in multiple wars in the Middle East related to oil, something that would be unnecessary if oil and substitutes for oil were as abundant as the authors seem to believe. The authors dismiss gloabl warming as inconsequential because development experts in Africa rank it as lower priority than AIDS and malaria. The authors dismiss the issue of farmland being paved over for auto-dependent sprawl. They cite irrelavant statistics on the relatively small percentage of total U.S. area that is urbanized, ignoring the fact that much of the land that is being paved over is prime farmland. They also ignore competition between ethanol, biodiesel, and food which further increases the impact of transportation on farmland.

The authors make very broad claims that maximum mobility is essential for families spending more time together and success in romantic relationships. They cite surveys that rank traffic congestion as a high-priority problem for people in the U.S. They rate sprawling cities such as Houston and Atlanta highly while downrating Portland, a city which puts a high priority on compact mixed-use development and transit. They cite no evidence on whether residents of Houston or Portland are more satisfied with their quality of life. The authors knock down the straw man that "you can't build your way out of congestion". They fail to address the question of whether building your way out of congestion improves perceived quality of life.

The book does have some good suggestions including increased use of toll roads and congestion pricing, elimination of parking requirements for businesses and bus rapid transit.

This book is stuck somewhere between a 1950's "Happy Motoring" and an early 21st Century "World is Flat" perspective. Resources and the earth's ability to absorb our assaults are limited. If you believe otherwise this book is for you.

I work professionally as an energy research engineer and am a member of the local planning commission.
Mitynarit
If this book were nearly unreadable and merely served to make its point in dense prose, it would be well worth its price and then some for making a common sense point that has been given short shrift in planning debates. Luckily for us, however, the authors have produced an emminiently accessible work that allows any reasonably literate person with or without a degree in urban planning to have a better understanding of how mobility profoundly affects all of our lives and how our mobility has become constrained over the past few decades by a combination of well-intentioned but poor urban planning and outright congestion-by-design.

The authors key point is a simple one: mobility matters. It matters economically and it matters socially. The ability of citizens of modest means to travel expeditiously and cheaply opens up to those citizens a wider range of job opportunities and social interactions than would otherwise be available. Mobility makes our economy richer and social lives more fulfilling. Part of the promise of a free society can only be obtained if we are free to navigate the physical landscape on which that society exists. Your ability to travel 10 miles or 25 miles or 50 miles to commute, to shop to visit friends and relatives, makes your life richer than it would be if your freedom of movement were limited to narrow corridors or tight spheres.

A couple of examples: the authors point to dating patterns in a large metropolitan area which have been limited to realtively tight geographic areas due to the hassle that navigating traffic congestion poses to the process of looking for mates further afield. Simply put: A person won't seek to date whom he or she cannot easily reach. This point is further brought home in the case of two income-earner households who have to balance career choices with the demands of conflicting commutes. Ideally, both spouses/partners would take the job that provides him/her with the greatest individual benefits, allowing both to achieve maximum income and job satisfaction. Where mobility constraints require a person to design a career around a commuting pattern it becomes very difficult for both spouses/partners to maximize career opportunities.

The authors make an important and common sense point that is nontheless viewed as controversial in our day and age. To wit: no device enhances personal mobility more than an automobile. For some reason I cannot understand, the automobile has come to be viewed as an evil to be tolerated and not as a tool that has enabled the widest possible share of the population to take full advantage of the range of economic and social opportunities open to those who can physically access them. Instead planners and activists have foisted on the general populace the notion that we are "addicted" to the automobile and must be incentivized or coerced into living in extreme density and travelling on fixed rail. The most powerful cudgel these elements have to force the general population to throw up its hands and give in is to freeze roadway expansion, force us to choke on our own desire for transportation and accept a prescription of fixed rail transit.

The authors persuasively take on the most pervasive arguments of this congestion lobby. I won't repeat all of their take downs here. My favorite is their evisceration of oft-repeated (and never examined) notion that (let's all say it together) "we cannot build our way out of congestion." Uh, yes we can, and the notion that it is somehow per se impractical or "wrong" to add capacity to a system functioning at or above capacity would never be applied if the system at issue were a school system, healthcare system or mass transit system.

Every public official who is charged with transportation planning, and every citizen who is interested in the subject of mobility should read this book.
The Road More Traveled: Why the Congestion Crisis Matters More Than You Think, and What We Can Do About It download epub
Engineering
Author: Ted Balaker,Sam Staley
ISBN: 074255113X
Category: Engineering & Transportation
Subcategory: Engineering
Language: English
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (October 17, 2008)
Pages: 208 pages