Editorial: Roundabouts of a Figurative Kind

Roundabouts of a figurative kind“: In this editorial to a new issue of Transport Reviews, Susan Handy discusses how the transportation planning profession has — and hasn’t — revised its thinking over time on topics like congestion, induced demand, and “accessibility” (as opposed to “mobility”).

The article begins: “Back in 1999, I hired a student to go through a year’s worth of the New York Times to find and catalog articles about transportation. These articles described a wide range of issues: growing impatience for new rapid transit lines and diminishing hopes of getting them, promises of better transfer systems and faster transit times to the suburbs, controversies over allowing cars in Central Park, calls to provide space for bicyclists on bridges, concerns over crashes caused by reckless driving, and disappointment over budget cuts for a boulevard project. I’m sure this list is not at all surprising to you, even if you don’t know much about New York City, as these are the kinds of issues that cities everywhere faced at the start of the twenty-first century. But you may be surprised to hear that the year we focused on was not 1999 but rather 1899. The details may have changed, but 100 years later the general issues looked stubbornly the same.”

~Thanks to Asha W. Agrawal for this post

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