The Trade-Off: Why we'll solve traffic jams with information, not more roads

Sooner or later, politicians will realize that roads are becoming a terrible way to deal with traffic.

This is top of mind, because Republican Bob McDonnell just won the Virginia governor's race in part by promising to build roads to unsnarl traffic in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., where earthworms move faster than cars on the Beltway. "Traffic congestion is a quality-of-life, economic development, and environmental issue," McDonnell said during his campaign. He wants to spend $17.5 billion on roads.