Wednesday, August 29, 2007

As Congestion Nightmare Evaporated, Seattle Looks Past Freeways

A huge traffic mess predicted for Seattle never materialized during the shutdown of a major freeway.

Turns out that traffic diffuses to other streets, much the way that rushing water is absorbed into a wetlands - - an analogy that former Milwaukee Mayor John O. Norquist often made. (Disclosure: I worked for Norquist from 1996-2004.)

Makes you wonder why the cash-strapped state is hell-bent on spending $6 billion on more freeway lanes in the seven-county Milwaukee region, when studies by the regional planners promoting the expansion have shown it will only modestly reduce the congestion predicted.

And which, as Seattle discovered, just doesn't happen.

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