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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Regulating Traffic by Controlling Land Use: The Southern California Experience


American attitudes toward transportation planning have recently undergone significant change. For three decades after the end of World War II, public policy emphasized the construction of new highway and transit facilities in order to remove the backlog of needs which resulted from the combined effects of depression, a war economy continued urban growth, and accelerating automobile ownership. For the most part, there was consensus among transportation policymakers that their primary goal was to accommodate growth by constructing facilities which would have adequate capacity to handle future demand. It was understood that land use patterns and economic development were the sources of traffic, yet there was general agreement that transportation policy should aim to accommodate forecast land use and economic growth rather than to regulate them in order to control traffic.

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