Gridlock: Why We’re Stuck In Traffic And What To Do About It by Randal O’Toole
Smart growth is based on the premise that Americans need to drive less to reduce congestion, energy consumption, and environmental impacts. To reduce driving, the vision calls for spending more money on urban transit, intercity rail, and bike/pedestrian facilities. The vision also calls for reducing the average size of lots for single-family homes and increasing the percentage of people who live in multifamily housing or mixed-used developments, both of which are supposed to reduce driving.
Efficiency vision is based on the premise that the resources available for transportation improvements are scarce and should be used as effectively as possible. This vision relies on user fees rather than taxes to pay for transportation. Transportation decisions are made by setting goals (sometimes called performance standards) and ranking transportation projects according to their ability to meet those goals. Goals could include congestion relief, energy savings, pollution reduction, and safety. Reducing driving is not a goal but merely one possible means to attaining some of the other goals. The projects that achieve the goals at the lowest cost are selected.