Let me see if I can clear some things out of the queue that has built up in recent weeks. First, Dana Goldstein had a piece up last week on Janette Sadik-Khan, commissioner of the New York City DOT. It’s very good, but I’m going to reiterate one thing I’ve mentioned before about Dana’s approach to urbanism issues. Improved planning is about quality of life, and health, and equity, and the environment. That stuff is all important and worth mentioning. But doing things like pricing roads, building more densely, and improving transit is good for the economy. Congestion generates a lot of inefficiencies; price roads and get rid of it, and you’re improving resource allocation.
I feel like it needs to be ok to argue for these things from the position of efficiency, particularly if we want to broaden the constituency for density and transit beyond stereotypical urban lefties.