Congestion = Prosperity?

Rex passes along the following link from yesterday’s NY Times Magazine: The Way We Live Now: Speed Bump

While talking about tolling as the increasing preferred approach to deal with congestion, it suggests this newly emerging perspective:

The overarching new credo is that gridlock shouldn’t be conceived of as a problem or a mark of social failure. According to authorities like Anthony Downs at the Brookings Institution, the author of “Stuck in Traffic” and “Still Stuck in Traffic,” a bumper-to-bumper crop of cars is a byproduct of the very prosperity, mobility and individual flexibility modern citizens value: where traffic is at a standstill, it generally means business is humming. The best we can do is try to keep the traffic jams from growing exponentially worse, and give those who are in a real hurry the chance to buy out of them.

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