Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us)

Also: Why You Should Read It and Why Its Failure To Appeal To You Says Even More About You.

Policy wonks – especially transportation policy wonks – should know by now that they have a friend in Nemo Wolfe, whose latest gesture of friendship to streetcar geeks and and bicycle lane zealots is the purchase of the above named book which has arrived and which will shortly be shed of its arresting jacket and fixed with its requisite pocket meaning it is free to go home on the bus with the first member quick enough to get in here. Traffic was, of all things, featured as the cover book on the New York Times book review section and has gotten much press, all of it favorable. Tom Vanderbilt, the author, a darling of NPR interviewers, must be a little dazzled. It’s non-fiction. It’s scandal free. It contains no Labradors. There is no dying coach. But it is catnip to reviewers. Your own Nemo spotted it in the prepub reviews and counted the hours until it arrived.

Open it anywhere. We opened to page 167 and there was congestion pricing, something we are unlikely to need in parking-lush Cincinnati in our lifetime, but an immensely interesting subject nonetheless. A quote:

“In getting just some people to change their behavior, congestion pricing can help reverse a long-standing vicious cycle of traffic, one that removes the incentives to take public transportation.”

OK, so you don’t get it. Enjoy your ride home in that Olds.

-Nemo Wolfe

Published in: on August 20, 2008 at 2:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

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