Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Friday, October 16, 2009

The “Good” Side of Traffic Jams

According to what can only be described as the sadistic school of environmental analysis:

Traffic jams can actually be environmentally beneficial if they turn subways, buses, car pools, bicycles and walking into more-attractive options. Residents of the New York metropolitan area are extraordinarily committed transit users—they account for almost a third of all the public-transit passenger miles traveled in the United States. Making a cab ride seem more efficient than the subway, by reducing the congestion on the streets, would be a loss for the environment.

Out here in the real world, congestion is commonly cited as a reason to move out of high-density areas. More traffic jams means more people moving to areas where they have to drive more to get somewhere.

Much of liberalism is based on the idea that people will react to government planning the way the planners want. It doesn't always work that way.


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