|Traffic Congestion in Denver. Image credit: Flickr|
William Fulton, Governing Columnist, contends that investment in well-located housing is a low-cost way to curb automobile vehicle miles traveled (VMT). If residents live in close proximity to the places they need to go each day, they will drive less, reducing the need for costly road expansion. Housing development near denser urban or suburban job centers can make shifting away from the personal automobile more appealing, but those who continue to drive will have fewer miles between them and their daily destinations. A study in the San Francisco Bay Area demonstrated that people in Berkeley and Oakland drive half as far as people in the outer suburbs because the places they need to go are closer together, not because they used transit more.
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