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Saturday, Jun 10, 2023


Traffic Solutions A recent Southern California Association of Governments report predicted that commuting in the Southland will get worse as the population increases. However, the emphasis on traffic counts along specific sections of freeway and at key interchanges overlooks how commuters adapt to changing conditions. The report argues that in 2020, a commute from Chino to downtown L.A. will be much longer than it is today but it is likely that fewer people will choose to make that commute. Keep in mind that the growth in employment between 1980 and today was similar to that projected in the SCAG report, but average commute times in the Southland have remained static at 21 to 22 minutes. Why? Because people have moved closer to their jobs, or taken jobs closer to where they live. None of this is to say that most of the SCAG report’s recommendations are not a good idea. Expanding mobility will expand the choices commuters have in where to live and work. Additional toll roads make a lot of sense, as well as allowing single-occupancy vehicles to pay a toll to use existing HOV lanes. Those who are worried about the equity of toll lanes should look at the data from the SR91 lanes that shows all income groups are using and benefiting from the toll lanes. And, a recent Reason Public Policy Institute study has demonstrated that busways have tremendous potential to improve mobility, and have been successful in Houston, Ottawa and other cities. ADRIAN MOORE Director of Economic Studies Reason Public Policy Insititute Los Angeles

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