Supporters of the light-rail claim that it will relieve congestion, but that is not what I saw in a column of numbers from the Texas Transportation Institute, which measures traffic congestion. An analyst in Seattle, at the Washington Research Council, took the Texas Transportation Institute’s congestion numbers from 1999 and compared them with 1982. He did it for 24 American cities, ranking them on how much their congestion had worsened in that 17-year period. Among the 24 American cities on it, there was Portland, are., famed for its light-rail system opened in 1986, its urban growth boundary, and the other policies celebrated among the good-government types as “smart growth.”
All that progressive stuff, and the rate at which Portland’s traffic got worse, from 1982 to 1999, was No. 1.