Unanswered Letter to STPP on
Dollars & Sense Report

11 September 1997

Hank Dittmar
Surface Transportation Policy Project
By Facsimile to 202 466 2247

Wendell Cox

Re: "Dollars and Sense" Report

Hello again after all these years.

I was sorry to see that STPP Progress reprinted the "new freeway lane mile" claim that has been advanced by those who, frankly, haven't read the report very carefully. Without the author's qualifying note, these figures are misleading. The "new freeway lane mile" analysis was used for illustrative purposes and allocated all expected all new traffic from the absence of transit to freeways. Of course, as the author acknowledges in the notes, not all peak hour traffic is on freeways (not even half of it is). Unfortunately this critical caveat has been absent from the publicity campaign by the report sponsors.

Let me put it this way. It is absurd to believe that the lack of transit in Philadelphia --- where the 1990 commute trip market share was barely 10 percent --- would necessitate a 72 percent increase in freeway lane miles.

A more detailed critique of the "Dollars and Sense" freeway lane mile figures is attached.

I don't fault anyone or any organization for repeating the freeway lane mile figures out of context given the approach of the publicity campaign. However, in my view, that does not make it any less misleading.

Finally, I hasten to add that no-one has suggested that there should be no transit.

Best regards,

(c) 2001 www.publicpurpose.com --- Wendell Cox Consultancy --- Permission granted to use with attribution.
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