Fine piece in The Atlantic. A teaser:
After all, congestion is a bit like cholesterol - if you don’t have any, you die. And like cholesterol, there’s a good kind and a bad kind. Congestion measurements should be divided between through-traffic and traffic that includes local origins or destinations, the latter being the "good kind." Travelers who bring commerce to a city add more value than someone just driving through, and any thorough assessment of congestion needs to be balanced with other factors such as retail sales, real estate value and pedestrian volume.Former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist is rwally in a good spot running the Congress For the New Urbanism.
Fighting traffic congestion by merely adding more road capacity is what Lewis Mumford called a "monochromatic" approach. In his critique of the Texas Transportation Institute’s "2010 Urban Mobility Report," University of Connecticut engineering professor Norman Garrick wrote that "TTI lost sight of the fact that a transportation system affects almost all aspects of daily life and that its value should not be judged purely on the basis of how well it affords the speedy movement of vehicles." In doing such, we fail to recognize the way traditional streets shape successful, self-reliant and stimulating places.