"A tour de force! O’Toole provides the relevant history, the keen diagnosis of our problems, and a prescient sense of the future in addressing our national gridlock. Every planner in America should be required to read it."
AUTHOR OF COMMUTING IN AMERICA
"This is an important transportation-planning book written from a free-market point of view. The primary thesis is that users and not the public should pay for transportation improvements. O'Toole rails against government policies that "encourage gridlock," e.g., "traffic calming" to promote "desirable" land use patterns and transit use. He equates miles of travel with mobility benefit (access to jobs, low-cost goods, etc.), and says "anti-mobility" and "smart growth" forces want to restrict mobility. O'Toole praises the automobile, which has provided unparalleled increases in miles traveled per person in the US, compared to other modes and countries. The book is severely critical of "little used" urban transit and intercity high-speed rail, citing their high costs and small reductions in energy use and air pollution. While most contemporary readers will not agree with everything in this book, they will be challenged to question many long-standing assumptions and beliefs. Highly recommended."
"O’Toole’s Gridlock is a brilliant ode to mobility. He blasts groups that have turned from promoting mobility to restricting it and punctures the pretensions of congressmen, bureaucrats, urban planners, and ‘smart growth advocates’ who want to spend billions promoting trains and rail transit systems that few people want to ride. Its policy arguments are too urgent and important to ignore. A must-read book."
—JAMES A. DUNN JR.
PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY;
AUTHOR OF DRIVING FORCES: THE AUTOMOBILE, ITS ENEMIES, AND THE POLITICS OF MOBILITY
"Do you believe the conventional wisdom about mass transit? That most systems may never be able to pay back their investment but at least cover operating costs? That they provide transportation to people who cannot afford automobiles? That even without stellar economic efficiency, urban transit cuts pollution? Every platitude is factually incorrect—and that has been known for three decades. Learn the facts from Randal O’Toole, so we can stop wasting money on transit monuments to the egos of politicians."
—T. J. RODGERS
PRESIDENT AND CEO, CYPRESS SEMICONDUCTOR CORPORATION
"Traffic congestion is sometimes described as a market failure. In Gridlock, Randal O’Toole shows that it’s actually a government failure. He debunks the common mythology about congestion and shows that it’s a solvable problem if we’re willing to embrace market solutions and new technologies."
PRESIDENT, CASCADE POLICY INSTITUTE
"A fascinating compendium that explores the economic and social consequences of high-speed travel—or, in many cases, the search for it."
THE GLOBE AND MAIL