Stuck In Traffic

According to emagazine, it's thanks to the Highway lobby that we’re all now stuck in traffic.
March 9, 2002, 5am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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This in-depth article analyzes the role that the highway lobby has played in the problematic increase in gridlock, emissions and commuting time facing modern America. According to the article, the modern highway system, with its subsequent problems, was birthed in 1891 when the League of American Wheelmen began lobbying state legislatures for roadimprovements to support the fledgling automobile industry.Since that time,lobbyists, including the American Automobile Association (AAA), haverelentlessly focused on extending highways, often claiming that building more roads can remove "strategic bottlenecks," and therefore reduce pollution and congestion. According to this article, however, only alternative transportation, congestion pricing and telecommuting will reduce the pollution and gridlock caused by America's love affair with the car. Editor's note: Reader Nate Bilger makes the following addition to the summary: "It is important to know that the League of American Wheelmen was _not_ lobbying to support the fledging automobile industry, but it was a movement supporting the bicycle. It was just a coincidence that the same good roads that cyclists wanted in 1891 were the same ones that autos needed a few years later. The further irony then is that the automobile took over the roads, and bicycles have now been relegated to bikepaths or being cursed at by irate drivers."

Thanks to California Policy Forum

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Published on Friday, March 8, 2002 in Emagazine
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