Joe Cortright’s Congestion Smackdown

Local economist Joe Cortright is all over the transportation blogosphere this week. He just produced a report for CEOs for Cities entitled “Driven Apart” that takes apart the Travel Time Index, the most widely published measure of congestion in major U.S. cities.

Cortright systematically shows how the index overestimates congestion in cities with compact land use patterns like Portland. Streetsblog has a full write-up, but among Joe’s points, the index:

  • overestimates free-flowing freeway volumes
  • fails to account for land use patterns with shorter commute distances
  • mis-estimates fuel consumption

I’m glad Joe’s on our side.

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