Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Best laid urban plans

It would have been best to have laid it to rest, according to Wendell Cox;
Clinging to the fantasy transit can materially reduce automobile travel, Oregon officials have blocked substantial roadway expansions. Residents have been rewarded with much intensified traffic congestion.
The Texas A&M Texas Transportation Institute Annual Mobility Report (Note 4) reveals Portland to have the 6th worst traffic congestion in the nation among major metropolitan areas. This compares to a before-rail ranking of 39th in 1982. Now Houston, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix all have lower levels of traffic congestion than Portland (Figure 9). Without decades of urban containment and anti-mobility policies, these metropolitan areas have improved traffic congestion relative to Portland. This is despite far larger increases in travel demand. Since the early 1980s, each of these metropolitan areas has added more residents than live in the entire Portland metropolitan area. 
He means that Portland planners went to heroic lengths to discourage people from driving by zoning and building light rail lines. So, the guinea pigs moved outside the urban core to the suburbs. Both people and jobs. As many people work at home as take transit in the city.

Nor is it easy being green;
Reflecting the reality that greater traffic congestion increases greenhouse gas emissions, Portland’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per automobile commuter have increased substantially and transit has made only the scantest difference. Between 1982 and 2011, Portland’s increase in CO2 emissions was greater than Houston, Atlanta and Phoenix, though less than Dallas- Fort Worth 
Also, thanks to cheaper options in housing outside the city--as well as out of the state of Oregon, over the Columbia River in Vancouver WA--it's easier to be black elsewhere;
In part due to rising prices, Portland is becoming less diverse . Indeed, Aaron Renn has called Portland the penultimate example in his searing critique, The White City. After the results of the 2010 census were announced. The Oregonian quoted then Mayor Sam Adams’ concern about the exodus of African-Americans from the city (municipality), saying that Portlanders should care about the fact that we offer ¬such limited access to equal opportunities. Local policymakers are largely oblivious to the role that urban containment policy may have played in diminishing those opportunities. 
Or was that the plan?

No comments:

Post a Comment