Anthony Downs

About Anthony Downs (Edit profile)

Anthony Downs is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC and currently a visiting fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California in San Francisco. This essay was his keynote address to UCTC ’s Annual Student Research Conference in 2004 at the University of California, Davis (

Why Traffic Congestion Is Here To Stay…And Will Get Worse

Anthony Downs

Everyone hates traffic congestion. But despite all attempted remedies, it keeps getting worse. Why don’t they do something about it? The answer: because rising traffic congestion is an inescapable condition in all large and growing metropolitan areas across the world, from Los Angeles to Tokyo, from Cairo to São Paulo. Peak-hour traffic congestion is a result of the way modern societies operate, and of residents’ habits that cause them to overload roads and transit systems every day.

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