By Tom Fetters
When I think of traffic-jammed cities, Los Angeles and Beijing immediately pop into my head. Los Angeles because for years it has been the national traffic-jam champ. Beijing because of that 10-day, 60-mile traffic jam just last month on the Beijing-Tibet highway.
So when I read that these two cities that can’t even sort out their own vehicle-congestion problems are getting together to share ideas on traffic management, I thought it was some sort of joke.
And according to an Associated Press account, each side can learn from the other.
“Beijing planners are desperately trying to adjust to an increasingly car-oriented world, where people don’t live where they work,” Randall Crane, an urban planning professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, is quoted as saying. “At the same time, L.A. wishes it had as good of a transit infrastructure — and as many people wanting to take transit.”
Other possible topics of exchange, according to the article: Beijing can learn more about coping with its rapid increase in car ownership, managing parking and carpool lanes, and planning for future travel needs.
L.A. can get advice on quickly expanding rail transit and improving high-capacity transit systems.
Exchanging information and advice can’t hurt, even if it’s in the slow lane.
Tom Fetters is a copy editor at The Daily Reporter. His “fast lane” is I-794 into Milwaukee every work day.