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2 Burnside Sociology- Urban Studies

Gridlock: Why We're Stuck in Traffic and What to Do about It

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Gridlock: Why We're Stuck in Traffic and What to Do about It Cover

ISBN13: 9781935308232
ISBN10: 1935308238
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

America is the most mobile society in history, but our transportation system is on the verge of collapse. Traffic congestion is today five times greater than it was 25 years ago, yet many transportation plans and projects are making it worse. As Randal O’Toole reveals in Gridlock, the prime causes of our ailing system are a government transportation planning philosophy whose primary goal is to diminish auto use — hence, personal mobility — in combination with federal budget incentives that perversely encourage transportation planners to increase congestion. As a result, the automobile which is accessible to almost every family in the nation and provides unparalleled access to better housing, low-cost consumer goods, a choice-driven affordable life, and freedom — is being deliberately forced off the transportation grid by the expensive "solution" of little-used high-speed trains and urban transit lines.

Not only is this costly, illustrates Gridlock, it won’t even accomplish the goals of saving energy and protecting the environment. "We can spend tens or hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars on transportation projects that sound good but really only serve a small elite," writes O’Toole, "or we can restore a user-fee-driven system that will continue to improve personal mobility and reduce transportation costs for generations to come."

Gridlock presents a wide range of innovative ideas and policy recommendations for creating an effective transportation system — improvements that will increase our mobility and pay for themselves, whether it’s cars, buses, planes, or trains. At the center of O’Toole’s solutions are three core principles: those who use transportation facilities should pay for them; negative effects should be dealt with in a cost-efficient manner; and new technologies that will increase mobility at a low cost must be embraced. In Gridlock, Randal O’Toole brings energetic and unconventional thinking to transportation strategies that have, until now, only driven us into the breakdown lane.

Review:

"[O'Toole] debunks the common mythology about congestion and shows that it's a solvable problem if we're willing to embrace market solutions and new technologies." John Charles, President, Cascade Policy Institute

Review:

"A fascinating compendium that explores the economic and social consequences of high-speed travel — or, in many cases, the search for it." Globe and Mail

Book News Annotation:

Like some critics from Oregon and elsewhere, O'Toole (Cato Institute, Washington, DC), does not believe that high-speed trains and other forms of mass transit will reduce congestion on American roads. Nor does he agree with smart growth planners that land use policies will have much impact on travel outcomes. Following a historical overview of travel trends in the U.S. in comparison to other countries, he argues for a user fee-driven system for all modes of transportation rather than further funding of expensive rail transit projects that benefit only a few. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Americans are the most mobile society in history, yet our transportation system is on the verge of collapse. Traffic congestion today is five times worse than it was 25 years ago. Many of our bridges are in desperate need of replacement. Worst of all, many transportation planners believe their job is to make congestion worse in order to discourage mobility. Gridlock reveals how we got into this mess and how we can fix it. The United States has two paths before it. Some say we should build an expensive network of high-speed trains and urban rail transit lines that will mainly serve a narrow elite. Gridlock argues instead that we should focus on improving methods of transportation that will increase everyone's mobility and pay for themselves, whether it's cars, buses, planes, or trains.

About the Author

Randal O’Toole is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who has written three previous books and numerous papers on transportation, urban growth, and public land issues, including his most recent book, The Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Voice-of-reason, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by Voice-of-reason)
Every person who has any input, interest in, or decision making power concerning traffic, roads vs.rail vs.buses should be required to read this book! Every man and woman who must commute to job, daycare, school, shopping, sports activities, doctor appointments, plus that weekly trip to Costco or Wal-Mart knows that few if any of our regular trips can now be or could ever possibly be made utilizing public transportation should also read this book, and become aware of how wayward and arrogant are those who have steered the course away from personal transportation (autos) and actually embrace gridlock. (You will be mad! VERY mad!)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781935308232
Author:
O'Toole, Randal
Publisher:
Cato Institute
Subject:
General
Subject:
Traffic congestion -- United States.
Subject:
Transportation and state -- United States.
Subject:
Politics - General
Publication Date:
20100131
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
277
Dimensions:
8.98x6.30x.98 in. 1.15 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General
Transportation » Automotive » General
Transportation » General

Gridlock: Why We're Stuck in Traffic and What to Do about It Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.50 In Stock
Product details 277 pages Cato Institute - English 9781935308232 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[O'Toole] debunks the common mythology about congestion and shows that it's a solvable problem if we're willing to embrace market solutions and new technologies."
"Review" by , "A fascinating compendium that explores the economic and social consequences of high-speed travel — or, in many cases, the search for it."
"Synopsis" by , Americans are the most mobile society in history, yet our transportation system is on the verge of collapse. Traffic congestion today is five times worse than it was 25 years ago. Many of our bridges are in desperate need of replacement. Worst of all, many transportation planners believe their job is to make congestion worse in order to discourage mobility. Gridlock reveals how we got into this mess and how we can fix it. The United States has two paths before it. Some say we should build an expensive network of high-speed trains and urban rail transit lines that will mainly serve a narrow elite. Gridlock argues instead that we should focus on improving methods of transportation that will increase everyone's mobility and pay for themselves, whether it's cars, buses, planes, or trains.
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