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Posted at 11:46 AM ET, 01/21/2011

A flawed report on traffic congestion

By David Alpert

The Texas Transportation Institute today released the final version of their report on congestion, which ranks the DC area tied for first with Chicago in hours wasted in traffic. Unfortunately, the report's methodology completely misleads as to the seriousness of traffic, and TTI is pushing the wrong policy solutions.

The TTI report narrowly looks at only one factor: how fast traffic moves. Consider two hypothetical cities. In Denseopolis, people live within 2 miles of work on average, but the roads are fairly clogged and drivers can only go about 20 miles per hour. However, it only takes an average of 6 minutes to get to work, which isn't bad.

On the other hand, in Sprawlville, people live about 30 miles from work on average, but there are lots and lots of fast-moving freeways, so people can drive 60 mph. That means it takes 30 minutes to get to work.

[Continue reading David Alpert's post here at Greater Greater Washington.]

David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By David Alpert  | January 21, 2011; 11:46 AM ET
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, Metro, traffic, transportation  
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Comments

And then there's the Detroit area, where people live 45 miles away from work but drive at 90 miles an hour.

Posted by: krickey7 | January 21, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Alpert's response is the typical road-hater's response to anything that proves his position wrong and just plain silly - discredit the source and deny the findings, which BTW, are based on FACTS (oh, those pesky facts).

His essay comes off like a sophomoric cliche - full of slogans, denial, and little else.

Fact is, we need more road capacity. Mr. Alpert would do well to have a friend who drives take him around and show him the traffic.

Then again, it would likely be a waste of time since Mr. Alpert would be convinced that "getting people out of their cars" and "moving more people to dense development" is the only viable solution.

Face it, Dave. Gabe and Adrian are gone.

Posted by: ceefer66 | January 24, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

This is what the Post calls "balanced reporting":

Whenever there is news that proves our 40-year experiment with "alternatives" to road capacity is a failure, publish a counter-point by a road-hater with the typical denials and anti-car, suburb-hating prattle.

I'm surprised the Post hasn't fed us the usual pablum from Stewart Schwartz of the Coalition For (what THEY say is) Smarter Growth.

I'm sure we'll see it eventually.

Posted by: ceefer66 | January 24, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

This is what the Post calls "balanced reporting":

Whenever there is news that proves our 60-year experiment with suburbs and tarmac wastelands a failure, publish a counter-point by a self-hater with the typical denials and anti-environment, civilzation-hating prattle.

I'm surprised the Post hasn't fed us the usual pablum from Mahlon Anderson of the American Automobile Association (what THEY say is) American anything.

I'm sure we'll see it eventually.

Posted by: SydneyP | January 25, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

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