Letter to US News:
"American Gridlock" Could not be More Wrong

22 May 2001

To the Editor

"American Gridlock" could not have it more wrong. Smart growth does not reduce traffic congestion, rather it worsens traffic congestion. Higher densities mean more traffic, as any visit to a European or Asian city will confirm.

Transit is not making a difference in traffic congestion, because transit ridership represents such a small percentage of urban travel (under 2 percent). Transit's ridership increase is 70 percent concentrated in New York City. Among the five most congested urban areas, four have lower transit market shares than in 1990. The exception is Los Angeles, which after building 9 rail lines, raised its transit market share from 1.5 to 1.6 percent.

Wendell Cox
Principal, Wendell Cox Consultancy

(c) 2001 --- Wendell Cox Consultancy --- Permission granted to use with attribution.
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