Greater Greater Washington

Zimmerman aces TPB, blocks I-66 widening

BeyondDC broke some exciting news. Thanks to the efforts of Arlington Board member Chris Zimmerman, who also sits on the Metro Board of Directors and the Council of Governments' Transportation Policy Board, it's the policy of the Washington Metropolitan Region not to widen I-66 at this time.


I-66. Photo by drewsaunders on Flickr.

To recap, I-66 is two lanes in each direction as part of a deal struck with Arlington when the freeway was built. But VDOT now wants to add "spot improvements", merge and weave lanes which are so long that the new lanes will span more of the freeway than not. As Michael revealed in October, VDOT was claiming these improvements would have no environmental impact, relieving them of the need to actually issue an EIS and follow process. Yet VDOT didn't even know if the widening would induce new traffic, cause more accidents, or even speed up traffic at all.

The decision came in a TPB meeting yesterday about how to spend the region's stimulus money. As BeyondDC explains, VDOT never considered other options, like transit or Transportation Demand Management strategies, preferring instead to ram a widening through the approvals process. The widening is "shovel ready", but analysis of other alternatives is much farther behind. Zimmerman used this fact to get an amendment passed that removed the widening from the region's list.

VDOT won't stop trying, but they're blocked for now. In the meantime, we need to find ways to change the culture at VDOT (and MDOT). The federal government, probably rightly, prefers to give money to state Departments of Transportation and regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and let them decide what to do. DC's isn't eager to run out and build that many new freeways, but Maryland's and Virginia's are. The planners there mean well, but many of them are used to building big roads, and so they plan more big roads to build.

As long as projects like Crain Highway or the "Techway" keep coming out of VDOT and MDOT, we're fighting an uphill battle to keep the states from spending most of their transportation budget promoting car dependence and sprawl. We need a VDOT that seriously wants to use a variety of techniques to solve problems, from roads to busways to light rail to bicycle infrastructure and more, and seriously evaluates all of those before jumping to any one solution.

David Alpert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Greater Greater Washington. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and daughter in Dupont Circle. 

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To play devil's advocate for a moment- isn't this a bit NIMBY of him? How would this be much different than someone not wanting a tall building built in their district and blocking it?

by SG on Feb 19, 2009 9:30 am • linkreport

It's not NIMBY because Arlington DOES want transit improvements in the corridor. They're not trying to stop anything from happening on I-66; they're trying to stop something that legitimate planning says is bad.

by BeyondDC on Feb 19, 2009 10:02 am • linkreport

Exactly. Also, I'm pretty sure Zimmerman thinks a freeway in someone else's backyard is a bad idea too. It's not that he doesn't want more lane miles near his constituents in Arlington, it's that he believes (as do I and BeyondDC) that more car lane miles in NoVa is generally a misguided approach to transportation.

by David Alpert on Feb 19, 2009 10:19 am • linkreport

Fair enough, just playing some devil's advocate (I don't know much about Zimmerman's other stances). I am for the project because I-66 is one of the worst roads in America, but then again I haven't looked into its impact much. If it had a positive impact on moving people through the region, then we should built it. If not, we shouldn't.

by SG on Feb 19, 2009 10:50 am • linkreport

As someone who lives 1/4 a mile from 66, I have an interest in not having construction equipment around. However, the widening plans never addressed any real issues with traffic either. 66 clogs up going into DC because it ends in a traffic light. The widening plans would have gone down to two lanes before the Rosslyn tunnel, which would move the traffic jams coming into DC from falls church to Rosslyn.

Leaving DC, you still have to deal with the Rosslyn tunnel, but there MIGHT be some improvement.

66 is the best case for HOT pay lanes. Turn the entire highway in a toll road and watch the traffic melt away.

Thank you Chris.

by charlie on Feb 19, 2009 10:56 am • linkreport

Adding a third lane from the Dulles Toll Road to Fairfax Dr in Ballston would be a very useful thing in both directions. Anything beyond that would be a poor use of money.

by NikolasM on Feb 19, 2009 11:06 am • linkreport

Even if this was a NIMBY move (and Zimmerman seems consistently pro-transit and pro-TDM for the entire region), it'd be for a somewhat legitimate argument: if lanes induce traffic, that traffic creates more air pollution, the effects of which are localized.

At any rate, I'm not sure that the goal was to kill the spot improvements entirely -- it sounds like the motivation was more out of resentment that, although the board had asked for a meaningful look at transit and TDM as an alternative to the spot improvements, VDOT didn't deliver and wanted to move ahead with the widening anyway.

by Gavin Baker on Feb 19, 2009 11:23 am • linkreport

Route 66 when it was built in 1980 chewed up huge sections of Arlington and bisected long-established neighborhoods - all for the purpose of allowing car dependent ex-urbanites living further out an easy access into DC. It was opposed for the exact same reasons that the 1960s freeways that would have ruined several DC neighborhoods were rightly also rightly opposed.

The residents of Arlington went pretty far in compromising their community to allow the road to built in exchange for certain promises and restrictions that were intended to respect Arlington's commitment to a less car-dependent way of life. Among those PROMISES was that I-66 within the Beltway would be limited to and would remain 2 lanes in either direction.

It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to ignore the crass immoral and unilateral renegging of its promises and obligations by VDOT and instead accuse Arlington of NIMBYism for protesting this violation of the promises made when the road was built.

There is a moral issue involved here - it's a shame that so many people choose to ignore it and instead blame the party being wronged.

by Andy on Feb 19, 2009 12:58 pm • linkreport

Booyah.

by Joey on Feb 19, 2009 1:29 pm • linkreport

Yes an agreement was made. However, I think that you can, within the footprint already taken by I-66, fit a third lane each way between the Toll Road and Fairfax Dr/Ballston. Technically it was still be only 2 through lanes each way at the endpoints within the Beltway and into DC, but it would alleviate two chokepoints that cause thousands of cars to putter slowly by spewing pollutants into Arlington's air each and every day.

by NikolasM on Feb 19, 2009 1:33 pm • linkreport

Widening the bottlenecks won't cause cars to stop puttering slowly. Instead, it'll make the cars go fast, causing people to decide to move to Fairfax or stop taking Metro and drive, which will fill up the added space and then even more cars will be puttering slowly.

by David Alpert on Feb 19, 2009 1:48 pm • linkreport

I would usually agree but if you try driving it everyday you come up with lots of easy solutions to fix this because you often have tons of spare time on your hands. Keeping it HOV restricted and adding a lane for Fairfax Drive to enter I-66 westbound without them having to merge into the two lanes of DC sourced traffic would truly reduce backups by miles in the evenings and also in the mornings for the reverse commuters coming from DC. The same goes for eastbound from the Tollroad. You combine 2 lanes of toll road traffic with two lanes of I-66 and compress them very quickly into 2 lanes again. This is a ridiculous chokepoint. All that needs to be done is add 4 miles of one extra lane each way. I am not advocating building miles of new highways all over and under the city. I am also not one to sit there idly and let a design flaw that is relatively cheap to rectify to prove a point. The highway is there. It might as well work correctly. Two through lanes still limits you to around a full four car train every 2 miles and is also limited by a traffic light(s) heading into DC. I think plenty of people would still take Metro.

by NikolasM on Feb 19, 2009 2:15 pm • linkreport

Putting aside the normal objections about more lane miles, it would be extremely irresponsible to spend money on that stretch of I-66 right now, just prior to the Silver line being built.

The big bottleneck is between the Dulles access road and Fairfax Drive, where traffic to/from Tysons Corner and the Rosslyn/Ballston corridor comes together to mix with normal I-66 traffic.

Considering we have a multi-billion dollar project on the books right now (the Silver line) that will provide excellent service between Tysons Corner and the R-B corridor, that problem could very well take care of itself without any more lane miles.

At the very very least, VDOT should wait to do this widening until after the Silver line opens. They target the same problem. We may not need both.

by BeyondDC on Feb 19, 2009 2:26 pm • linkreport

When is that really going to get going? You may be right about the alleviation. We'll have to see, but I'd also like to see that bad boy really start being built. It has been all talk for decades now.

by NikolasM on Feb 19, 2009 2:35 pm • linkreport

If you want to contain the sputtering cars, I have two suggestions.

1. Change HOV-2 to HOV-3 and/or expand hours

2. Remove HOV and add congestion pricing. Use revenue to run free buses.

by David C on Feb 19, 2009 3:30 pm • linkreport

Nik: Construction should begin this spring. The Silver line is in better shape right now than it has ever been before.

David C: Arlington wants the state to study both those things. VDOT has not done so, because they haven't been taking the TDM plan seriously. Now they have to.

by BeyondDC on Feb 19, 2009 3:35 pm • linkreport

Andy--Very well put. I agree completely.

I think I-66 is already wide enough. Don't think so? Then move closer in. Or find a job closer to home in Lynchburg or wheverer.

I've never understood why "NIMBY" is considered by some to be a bad thing. People have the right to oppose changes proposed by others outside their community that would threaten the quality of life in the community. Environmental justice, historic preservation--one could easily write these worthwhile efforts off as "NIMBY-ism." It's not as if an expansion of 66 is something everyone agrees the larger community needs (like, say, a prison or power plant).

The long-term, macro issue lurking behind all this is that there are just too many people in the DC region and in Arlington. We can't accommodate more--whether on the Orange Line or on I-66. Someone has to draw a line in the sand and tell the developers "No"--whether the developers are inside the Beltway (where small single-family homes are being converted to either horrid McMansions or duplexes/townhouses) or outside the Beltway (where the developers seem to think there's always room for one more subdivision of people who plan on working farther in).

Anyway, bravo to Chris Zimmerman.

by John B on Feb 19, 2009 5:34 pm • linkreport

John B: No more people inside the Beltway, no more outside the Beltway... where should people go? If they all live in sprawl around Phoenix, that's not really better.

Also, DC used to have about 50% more people in 1950 than it does today. How about just going back to the old size?

by David Alpert on Feb 19, 2009 5:39 pm • linkreport

That stat is a good one about the testament to highways blowing up cities. We need to remember that especially in this area there was a legit fear of being nuked if you lived too close so there was a strong desire to spread things out. I hate the results but it is going to take a while to turn that around. Then there were the riots of the 60's and white flight...

by NikolasM on Feb 19, 2009 5:53 pm • linkreport

It's better for you and me, David! I can easily steer clear of Phoenix.

But seriously: Interesting point. I wouldn't object to seeing DC itself go back to its old size--but we all know that the only areas of DC with good public schools and relatively little crime are super expensive. I don't think many people with kids who live in the inner 'burbs will ever move to the SE rowhouses that emptied out in the '50s unless DC undergoes a renaissance in its city services.

I do think that people have a right to see a neighborhood's essential character be preserved--whether it's rowhouses, bungalows, estates, whatever. I don't think people should move here for a job with the expectation of leveling a Bethesda bungalow (so they can live close in yet have their 5,000 square feet) OR of living in Manasses and driving to K Street every day.

But I think looking at the residential population of DC proper doesn't make as much sense as looking at the population of people who work in the District. There were surely fewer jobs there in 1950 (fewer tall buildings, fewer government agencies). It's the increase in District *jobs* that has brought the influx of commuters--not an increase in population of DC (as you noted) nor of the surrounding suburbs.

by John B on Feb 19, 2009 5:53 pm • linkreport

>there are just too many people in the DC region and in Arlington. We can't accommodate more--whether on the Orange Line or on I-66. Someone has to draw a line in the sand and tell the developers "No"

This is exactly the wrong approach. You can't just limit supply without addressing demand.

Drawing a line in the sand just forces people to move to the other side of the line. Not only does it fail to solve the problem, it actually makes the problem worse, since the same amount of people now have to drive farther to get anywhere.

Furthermore, the entire concept that population density is the cause of congestion is wrong. Density actually increases efficiency and convenience if communities are laid out in a manner accommodating to density (that is, walkable urbanism). I live in Ballston, and I would *love* for there to be 10 times as many people living in my neighborhood - it would mean Ballston's sidewalks could support a larger number of more diverse shops, meaning I would not have to travel as far to get to them.

Population density is only a problem in communities that rely too heavily on cars. Zimmerman and the Arlington County Board understand that, which is why they oppose measures that lead to increased driving. The answer is not to limit density (which just pushes people elsewhere rather than solves the problem), but to design communities that can accommodate density without sacrificing quality of life.

It CAN be done. It is done all over the world, every day. It is done in Arlington right now in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.

by BeyondDC on Feb 19, 2009 7:32 pm • linkreport

"...the entire concept that population density is the cause of congestion is wrong."

What is congestion but density of people in a given mode of conveyance--whether in a packed subway car or in bumper-to-bumper traffic?

"Population density is only a problem in communities that rely too heavily on cars."

It's a problem here in the DC area, which is not overly car-dependent as US cities go. And it's a problem for transit users as well as car commuters. I don't think you can look at our cheek-by-jowl Metro cars and freeways and deny that more residents per acre has led to more people on the roads, subways, and buses. Of course it has; all these people have to get to work, and it's either Metro or driving. Unless this increased density you're espousing consists exclusively of retirees and people working from home, it by definition means you have more people using the same amount of infrastructure during commutes.

It sounds like we do agree that mass transit is something we need more of. But I think that if people tie that idea to increased density, we're going to see a lot of opposition to mass transit from people who don't want more density in their residential neighborhoods.

by JB on Feb 19, 2009 10:14 pm • linkreport

Now you're talking about crowding, which is NOT synonymous with density. Density means simply people per area. Crowding means the ability of the infrastructure to handle its density. They are two related but ultimately different concepts. The difference is why this statement is wrong:

> it by definition means you have more people using the same amount of infrastructure during commutes

"Crowded" by definition means more people using the same infrastructure. "Dense" doesn't. One of the big reasons why dense living is more efficient than spread-out living is that on a per capita basis it is much cheaper (read: easier) to build the necessary infrastructure to serve the population. That is, it is much easier to keep dense areas from becoming overcrowded than sparse ones precisely because you can build MORE infrastructure per person in dense areas. This is a little anti-intuitive, so let me illustrate: If you have to provide (say) a water pipe to serve 10 houses, it is much cheaper to build a 1,000 foot-long pipe that serves 10 houses on a single block than it would be to build a 10,000 foot-long pipe that serves 10 blocks each with 1 house. You're providing water to the same number of people either way, but one requires 10 times as much pipe. In fact, you've saved so much money with the shorter pipe that you can then build multiple redundant pipes, serving the same 10 houses. Because the houses are closer together, the water company can provide better service more cheaply. The same principle applies to transportation.

This is a little anti-intuitive, but it's really important. It's why Fairfax County is actually a more *crowded* place than the District of Columbia, despite having much lower *density*. Because DC arranges its density in a more effective manner, it can handle much more it before becoming overcrowded than can Fairfax.

Finding a way to accommodate density without becoming overcrowded is the whole point of contemporary urban planning. Unless you can find a politically and economically acceptable way to stop population growth, that is. If you can, and if your solution doesn't simply make our problem somebody else's problem, then I'm all ears.

by BeyondDC on Feb 20, 2009 12:47 am • linkreport

@BDC. I've got an urban geography textbook; don't need you to transcribe your urban planning 101 glossary here.

Typical urban planners- I see them all over my geography department: They're infinitely smarter than the unenlighted masses, and thank god they're here to impart their wisdom to us, lest we destroy ourselves.

Unless you can find a politically and economically acceptable way to stop population growth, that is.

Bar buddies with Paul Erlich? Part of the Malthus fan club? The answer? Less brown people of course. We need more yuppie enclaves. After all, they're the best part of the city; The Fruit Loop, Adams Morgan, etc. If only the black people would just get with the picture and embrace urbanism like they're supposed to.

I guess there will always be a certain segment of society that decides it knows the answers for everyone else and refuses to even conceive that people might know what's best for themselves. Fortunately most people just ignore them and get on with their lives.

by MPC on Feb 20, 2009 1:29 am • linkreport

Opponents of widening roads say that cars will fill up the widened roads, the roads will be just as jammed as before, and, therefore, never widen roads. But widened roads carry more cars, jammed or not. For example, after being widened, I-270 between Germantown and Bethesda carries more cars. The widened I-270 supports a corridor of dense buildings better than the old I-270 could have supported them. I think that MPC has a better grasp of the issue than BeyondDC does.

by Tom on Feb 20, 2009 9:10 am • linkreport

Nice non-sequitir, MPC.

What the hell does your rant have to do with anything?

by Alex B. on Feb 20, 2009 9:32 am • linkreport

Fair point, Tom. But it begs the question, is there a better way to move people and support density than perpetually congested highways?

by BeyondDC on Feb 20, 2009 11:19 am • linkreport

Can I-66 even become a toll road? I thought that once a highway became an interstate, a toll couldn't be placed on it (excluding some highways that were already toll roads before becoming interstates). Otherwise, I'd be a big fan of this and I do take 66 every so often.

by Leuven on Feb 20, 2009 2:24 pm • linkreport

Tolling is pretty complicated (I'm not sure enough of all the ins-and-outs to try and explain it), but at the very least it is definitely possible to toll any new lanes that might be built.

by BeyondDC on Feb 20, 2009 4:18 pm • linkreport

"Now you're talking about crowding, which is NOT synonymous with density."

Yes, I know the difference in terms of urban-planning nomenclature--but what I'm saying is that density absolutely does lead to crowding and thus the distinction you draw is artificial.

I'm not advocating sprawl--but I do get scared of the push for density as some sacred cow. I'm for a happy medium.

I too live in Ballston, and I see these single-family homes turned into duplexes or shabby college rental houses (with multiple mailboxes, satellite dishes all over, cars in the front yard, etc.) I'm not saying there should be no townhouses or condos--just that we have enough. The Rosslyn-Ballston corridor just can't accommodate more people--on the Metro or on the roads. (I'm also against the reverse, by the way--the McMansionization of the inner burbs.)

And MPC: Anyone who has spent much time in the above area would know that the overcrowing is about 90% (young) white people.But that's beside the point. The point is that any municipality must decide how many people can comfortably, sustainably live there--not keep replacing houses with condo buildings. Otherwise, it'll never stop till everywhere is Manhattan. I'm for choice.

by JB on Feb 20, 2009 10:13 pm • linkreport

Density only leads to crowding if there's no increase in infrastructure to accommodate it, thus the second part of my post explaining how it's easier to build infrastructure in dense areas.

As for choice, I agree, but there is currently FAR more of the low density option than the high density option. We could build nothing but infill in this country for the next quarter century at least and there would still be more low density living than high density living. If nobody ever replaced a house with a condo building, we'd never have anything but houses.

by BeyondDC on Feb 21, 2009 12:00 am • linkreport

The point is that any municipality must decide how many people can comfortably, sustainably live there--not keep replacing houses with condo buildings.

And that is why urban planning will always be 2 steps too late. You're trying to use bureaucracy to solve what a market is perfectly capable of.

by MPC on Feb 21, 2009 2:50 am • linkreport

Otherwise, it'll never stop till everywhere is Manhattan. I'm for choice."<./i>

That's hyperbole for several reasons. Manhattan and The Loop are the products of unique geographical and economic conditions that favor extreme agglomeration. Those conditions do not exist in Arlington or DC. They're also older, far more commercial,

And so what? Have you been to Manhattan out of Midtown? Take a walk around Hamilton Heights or Alphabet City. You'll find that both of these areas have 5-10 storey buildings, but are not painfully overcrowded at all.

by цarьchitect on Feb 21, 2009 9:40 am • linkreport

That should read, "They're also older, far more commercial, and more varied than Ballston."

by цarьchitect on Feb 21, 2009 9:42 am • linkreport

MPC,

Show me one place where real estate operates in a perfectly free market.

The fact is that real estate has always been one of the most regulated areas of our economy, and that's not going to change anytime soon.

by Alex B. on Feb 21, 2009 9:57 am • linkreport

The fact is that real estate has always been one of the most regulated areas of our economy, and that's not going to change anytime soon.

Regulated real estate caused suburban sprawl (minimum lot size), housing shortages (rent control), etc. etc.

You're not winning me over on that point.

by MPC on Feb 21, 2009 12:28 pm • linkreport

MPC: Wanna see completely unregulated real estate? Go to Houston, the archetype of sprawl. No zoning whatsoever.

by JB on Feb 21, 2009 2:15 pm • linkreport

And obviously since it's so poorly planned, no one wants to live there right? The masses will certainly flock to a highly zoned and planned city, right?

by MPC on Feb 21, 2009 2:29 pm • linkreport

Density existed in NYC long before zoning existed because of limited space. The supply of land requires it. Why not allow entropy of people/housing (sprawl) if the supply of land allows it. Obviously the farmer who sold his land to a developer values the payment he got for the property more than the utility of his farm, so who are we to complain?

by MPC on Feb 21, 2009 2:40 pm • linkreport

Houston doesn't have traditional zoning, but they do have minimum parking standards, which tend to spread out development and limit density. They also have minimum lot sizes.

http://www.smartgrowth.org/news/article.asp?art=3758&state=44&res=1024

http://marketurbanism.com/2008/12/10/is-houston-really-unplanned/

Houston isn't what you'd get if you went completely laissez-faire. They require more parking spaces than bedrooms for apartments, and 10 spaces per 1000 square feet for bars (requiring three times more space for cars than they do for people). Until recently, there was a minimum lot size of 5000 square feet, which is about four times as much land as a pretty big townhouse.

by Michael Perkins on Feb 21, 2009 2:52 pm • linkreport

MPC, you've completely missed my point. Real Estate has been heavily regulated from the word go. This is a tradition that dates back for centuries in western culture and legal systems.

My point was that your assertion that there's some sort of free market counterpoint is empirically false. Such a state of being does not exist.

You say that real estate is regulated through planning (though there's far more to the regulation than just planning - land use controls go much farther back than that), and assert that it leads to less than optimal outcomes. Yet the outcome you're presumably advocating for simply does not exist, and never has.

by Alex B. on Feb 21, 2009 3:23 pm • linkreport

You're being so myopic beyond belief. Just because something has been done forever is valid enough reason to do it?

That sort of love of bureaucratic inertia would get you a high-ranking position somewhere in DC. Yes, we don't have an example what the real-estate situation would look like in the absence of regulation, but we do know that almost every case of deregulation in America in the last 50 has helped the consumers at the expense of those who used regulation as a way to construction a government-backed monopoly (airlines, railroads, coal in the UK).

So maybe there's a bit of epistemology involved, how do we know how something will work that's never been done; I'll give you that, but patterns in other industries suggest that regulation as such only results in regulatory capture, benefiting those who can gain favor with those in power and receiving the benefits of being aligned with the power of the government.

by MPC on Feb 21, 2009 3:34 pm • linkreport

is a valid enough reason not to do it?

by MPC on Feb 21, 2009 3:35 pm • linkreport

"almost every case of deregulation in America in the last 50 has helped the consumers at the expense of those who used regulation as a way to construction a government-backed monopoly"

Ugh, I can't believe I'm weighing in on this. But this statement is flawed in two ways.

Attempts to deregulate areas where a monopoly is intrinsic have been a big flop. Maryland wants to reregulate the energy industry because deregulating it caused prices to go up. California's attempt to deregulate energy had the same result. Maybe that's what you meant by 'almost' but it is no panacea.

And land is the ultimate monopoly. Want a building on the SE corner of Main and Park? Guess what, there is only one supplier. Yes, you can just buy a building a few blocks away, but a block can be the difference between success and failure.

Like so many other things, too little regulation is bad, and too much is bad. You gotta baby bear it.

by David C on Feb 21, 2009 4:01 pm • linkreport

If you want a building at that spot, you buy or rent the land. I don't see the point you're trying to make. There's only one Michael Jackson, should we regulate the price he can charge for his concerts?

It's not like the law of demand doesn't apply in a monopoly situation; if the owner of the SE corner of Main & Park wants more than you're willing to pay, you just won't pay and that's money he doesn't get.

by MPC on Feb 21, 2009 4:10 pm • linkreport

My point is that in a true free market, a property owner would be able to sell/rent a piece of property for what ever purpose they wanted - presumably that would be whatever is willing to pay the most; but while that might be in her best interest, depending on what that is, it may not be in the community's best interest.

So it is worth it for the community to define/limit the possible uses, often paying the property owner for the loss in value, occasionally against the owner's wishes. Perhaps your sympathy lies more with the property owner in that situation. Mine do not.

by David C on Feb 21, 2009 4:19 pm • linkreport

Again, MPC, you totally miss my point.

Show me the path to a free market in real estate. And please don't use Houston as an example - Houston may not have zoning, but it's got regulation up the wazoo.

This isn't love for bureaucracy. In fact, I have a whole lot of criticisms of the way we regulate. However, regulation and planning, as broad based concepts, are here to stay. You seem to fail to realize that.

by Alex B. on Feb 21, 2009 4:48 pm • linkreport

Alex is right.

It is *impossible* to fully separate government from land use. Even if you completely deregulate everything, you still get biases in the tax code, spending, etc. Claiming the answer is deregulation is intellectually lazy. There is no such thing as a fully deregulated land use market.

And as Alex noted, Houston is a prime example. No zoning, but other regulations up the wazoo. Parking regs are just the beginning.

by BeyondDC on Feb 23, 2009 12:09 pm • linkreport

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