L.A. Times Solves Issue of Why Traffic Sucks in Southern California, By Looking at Every Answer Except the Obvious One
An L.A. Times article pretends to tell you why traffic sucks in Southern California:
Many factors conspire to produce Southern California’s traffic. The most consequential is the collective impact of millions of individual choices. In Reliford’s case, her loathing of the commute is outweighed by her love for her home in Rialto, with its big backyard where her two young boys can play safely.
Those choices play out in a region that sprawled long before the freeways were built. The pattern of development in Southern California as far back as the era of the Pacific Electric Railway’s Red Cars created a horizontal city, one in which people frequently settled far from where they worked.
But individual decision-making alone does not account for Southern California’s massive traffic congestion. Actions by government at the state and local level also bear a big share of the blame.
OK, let’s hear about the actions by government.
Two decisions stand out:
* State and local officials have not expanded the region’s highways and mass transit systems enough to keep up with population growth.
The population of the five-county Southern California region grew 22% from 1990 to 2006, and the total miles driven by motorists has increased about 42%. But the number of miles of highway in the region has increased by only 7.5%.
OK, never mind the second decision. It’s not relevant anyway.
Here’s what is relevant:
Gee. Why did Southern California’s population grow 22% by 1990 to 2006?
And did any level of government have anything to do with it?
These questions, dear readers, I leave to you to answer.
They sure as hell aren’t answered by this article.
P.S. Here’s a hint.