Over at Human Transit, Jarrett has an excellent discussion of the relationship between road congestion and transit, focusing on why transit will generally not reduce congestion, but is still a worthwhile investment for improving mobility and economic activity.
The only point I might add is that over the long term good land use planning is also an effective tool to manage congestion (it can’t happen fast enough to reduce congestion, but it can certainly help slow its growth over time, or allow development of new areas with radically less congestion than they might otherwise have).
I’m also intrigued by Jarrett’s point that exclusive transit lanes are also very useful for emergency vehicles. I wonder if protected bikeways could be developed with the same benefit?
A reminder that Jarrett is visiting Portland tomorrow!