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Pedal Power solutions to petroleum dependence and polluting vehicles: Arcata Library Bikes, Pedal Power Produce, and more!

CAOE - Committee Against Oil Exploration - stop offshore oil drilling to protect sensitive habitats and cut petroleum dependence.

Culture Change through music! The Depavers eco-rock!

Take our Pledge for Climate Protection and learn about the Global Warming Crisis Council.

SEI hometown action!
Arcata city council's proclamation against war on Iraq and Kyoto Protocol proclamation.

Overpopulation has become a reality.  Overpopulation Resources and News Tidbits

Sail Transport Network

Fact Sheets
Press Releases

Long Distance


New Roads = More Traffic, Studies Say

by Jan Lundberg

Whether in Europe or the States, the verdict is in: New roads donít help congestion, and, new lanes add congestion. Traffic increases thanks to the new, open capacity, as more cars get rolling and polluting. More and more of us ask, why extend the vulnerable infrastructure and cover up more arable land, when the economy marches toward collapse?

The British government did a major study and concluded that new roads do not reduce traffic congestion long term. All of Britainís towns are required by law to reduce their own traffic. (Hello, U.S. government?!)

Last year a report was issued by the Surface Transportation Policy Project, basing its findings on a Texas Transportation Institute study. One suburban newspaper in the San Francisco area carried the headline ìStudy: Adding highway lanes means adding congestionî. Quoted were critics with the paving interests who distorted the goals of paving moratorium advocates as demanding all transportation funding go to transit and bike paths. Actually, if we are successful in calling for prioritizing the repair of existing roads, thatís enough to monkey wrench more roadbuilding while saving enough funding for alternatives.

The road interests offered a telling explanation for the worsening traffic found in most American sprawlvilles: ìpopulation growth and the robust economy.î Blame- shifting can illuminate.

Road fighters are almost all against population growth and the disastrous excess of the waste economy. Demographers and immigration-studies groups have recently revealed the biggest growth factor in U.S. overpopulation, that of new Americansí arrivals and their higher birth rates. Congress may never curb legal immigration as long as big corporations can demand more low-cost workers and more consumers brought in to buy corporate products. But we must still deal with current overpopulation, at least by stopping one of its effects: sprawl. Recognition is also
needed that more road building adds to population growth (Auto-Free Times # 10).

The Sierra Club and other groups are on the anti-sprawl bandwagon. Some, such as the NRDC, support ìSmart Growthî which dances around a paving moratorium (see their  Amicus Journal Winter 1999, my letter).  It is no mere coincidence that mainstream environmental groups handle our ìradicalî transportation position the same way they treat U.S. population growthólike hot potatoes. - JCL


Articles of interest:
Measuring and controlling the actions of governments 

Anti-globalization protest grows, with tangible results. 
WTO protests page

Tax fossil-fuel energy easily
by Peter Salonius 

UK leader calls War on Terror "bogus"

Argentina bleeds toward healing by Raul Riutor

The oil industry has plans for you: blow-back by Jan Lundberg

It's not a war for oil? by Adam Khan

How to create a pedestrian mall by Michelle Wallar

The Cuban bike revolution

How GM destroyed the U.S. rail system excerpts from the film "Taken for a Ride".

"Iraqi oil not enough for US: Last days of America?"

Depaving the world by Richard Register

Roadkill: Driving animals to their graves by Mark Matthew Braunstein

The Hydrogen fuel cell technofix: Spencer Abraham's hydrogen dream.


Ancient Forest Protection in Northern California. Forest defenders climb trees to save them.

Daniel Quinn's thoughts on this website.

A case study in unsustainable development is the ongoing crisis in Palestine and Israel.

Renewable and alternative energy information.

Conserving energy at home (Calif. Title 24)

Culture Change mailing address: P.O. Box 3387 , Santa Cruz , California 95063 USA
  Telephone 1-215-243-3144 (and fax)

Culture Change was founded by Sustainable Energy Institute (formerly Fossil Fuels Policy Action), a nonprofit organization.