Still Stuck in Traffic: Coping with Peak-Hour Traffic Congestion / Edition 1

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Congested roads waste commuters' time, cost them money, and degrade the environment. Most Americans agree that traffic congestion is the major problem in their communities —and it only seems to be getting worse.

In this revised and expanded edition of his landmark work Stuck in Traffic, Anthony Downs examines the benefits and costs of various anticongestion strategies. Drawing on a significant body of research by transportation experts and land-use planners, he counters environmentalists and road lobbyists alike by explaining why seemingly simple solutions, such as expanding public transit or expanding roads, have unintended consequences that cancel out their apparent advantages. He argues that while there might be some measurable gains from increasing housing densities, most other land-use strategies have little effect. Indeed, the most powerful solutions, including higher gasoline taxes, increased public funding for transit, and highway tolls, are also the least palatable politically.

St ill Stuck in Traffic contains new material on the causes of congestion, its dynamics, and its relative incidence in various parts of the country. In clear and realistic terms, Downs seeks to explore why traffic congestion has become part of modern American life and how it can be kept under control.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Downs is an engaging writer. The book's strengths inhere largely in his plausible and clear arguments which usually rely on easily understood back-of-the-envelope methods of analysis....Still Stuck in Traffic remains essential reading for the master's-level student of transport and for practising transport planners, providing a very good overview of the urban system in which traffic congestion arises, as well as the clearest and most comprehensive evaluation of policy efforts to make road use more efficient." —Daniel G. Chatman, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, Urban Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815719298
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Series: James A. Johnson Metro Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 472
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Downs is a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. His specialties are housing, real estate, real estate finance, metropolitan planning, demographics, and transportation. His books include New Visions for Metropolitan America (Brookings/Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, 1994), and Still Stuck in Traffic: Coping with Peak-Hour Traffic Congestion (Brookings, 2004).

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 The benefits of peak-hour traffic congestion 5
3 How bad is traffic congestion? 14
4 Causes of recent increases in peak-hour traffic congestion 37
5 Incidents and accidents as causes of congestion 61
6 Strategies for reducing congestion and four basic principles of traffic 76
7 Reducing incident-caused congestion 91
8 Increasing road-carrying capacity 101
9 Creating more public transit capacity 117
10 Peak-hour and other road pricing 152
11 Demand-side behavioral tactics 180
12 Remedies that increase densities 200
13 Changing the jobs-housing balance 228
14 Concentrating jobs in large clusters 245
15 Local growth management policies 258
16 Traffic congestion around the world 272
17 Regional anticongestion policies 298
18 Summary and conclusions 321
App. A The dynamics of traffic congestion 355
App. B Graphic analysis of peak-hour road pricing 368
App. C Translating gross residential densities into net residential densities 371
App. D A spatial model for simulating changes 375
App. E Clustering high-density housing near transit stops 390
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