'Traffic,' by Tom Vanderbilt

Traffic is a frequent topic of conversation in A/B, especially when Harvard, BC, Lowe's, and others are seeking to expand here. This new book offers some new ideas, challenges some conventional wisdom, and offers a glimpse at traffic jams across the centuries.

Book Review - 'Traffic,' by Tom Vanderbilt - Review - NYTimes.com

...People are driving to do things they once did at home or down the block. “It is not just that American households have more cars,” he writes, “it is that they are finding new places to take them.” They’re going someplace to eat. They’re driving to Whole Foods because they don’t like the produce at their neighborhood supermarket. They’re going out to get coffee.

Traffic does not yield to simple, appealing solutions. Adding lanes or roads is a short-lived fix. Widen one highway, and drivers from another will defect. Soon that road is worse than it was before. The most effective, least popular solution — aside from the currently effective, unpopular solution of $5-a-gallon gasoline — is congestion pricing: charging extra to use roads during rush hours

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