Who Loves Traffic? Dan and the Highway Lobby

U.S. PIRG has picked a winner in its "21st Century Transportation" video contest, and it’s this irony-soaked entry. Meet "Dan," a guy who just can’t get enough stop-and-go time on the highway. He loves sitting in traffic, and the last thing he wants to see is adequately funded transit giving people an attractive alternative to car commuting.

Who feels this way in real life? Highway builders, for one. Without traffic jams (and the erroneous assumption that more road capacity can fix them), would anyone tolerate the lavish subsidies that keep their industry growing?

U.S. PIRG is using this video in their campaign to direct more money to transit in next year’s transportation spending package. If you like it, you can send it around.

  • Peak oil will blow these people away, especially when gas hits double digits and the spot shortages begin. Then a whole flock of formerly happy motorists will look back on 2008 as the year we could have jump-started transit development — and failed. Of course I would love to be proven wrong about that last part.

  • That video was so funny!

  • I’m jealous. That was good.

  • Shemp

    I guess. Does anyone seriously believe this is useful for an audience other than one like this?

  • Braddy

    Dan, you just need to move someplace with more traffic. Seattle? Atlanta? Salt Lake? Raleigh-Durham? There’s lots of options.

    P.S. I recommend vacationing in Mexico City. You’ll love it!

  • Oh no. I actually used the phrase “jump-started transit development.” Got to watch those automotive metaphors! Though I guess you could jump-start a bus…

  • rex

    Nicely done! I have never been a fan of the various PRIGs. There is a complete disconnect between fund raising and which issues they pursue.

    Shemp, it takes time. People need to be exposed to these ideas over a period of years for it to sink in. Americans were raised witht he idea that cars are good, facilitating a better life for all. It is dogma for most of us. A little humor may get a mind or two working.

  • I’m with Shemp and then some. This is a terrible ad.

    It mocks the very real frustration people have with traffic without educating them about the mistaken assumptions they make about transportation planning.

    If you want to get people to reassess the transportation choices they make, you have to give them some incentive or encouragement to do so.

    This doesn’t. I won’t be passing this video along.


Tell Congress: Don’t Waste Money on Highway Expansion

States should know better than to funnel more money into road expansion at the expense of maintenance. With President-elect Obama back in Washington, action is heating up again around the economic recovery package, which could total up to $850 billion over the next two years. As much as $100 billion may be at stake for […]

Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct: King of the Highway Boondoggles

A recent report by U.S. PIRG and the Frontier Group, “Highway Boondoggles: Wasted Money and America’s Transportation Future,” examines 11 of the most wasteful, least justifiable road projects underway in America right now. Here’s the latest installment in our series profiling the various bad decisions that funnel so much money to infrastructure that does no good.  Seattle’s aging Alaskan Way Viaduct is […]

Fred Barnes: Americans Mainly Want to Stay in Their Cars

After yesterday’s electoral drubbing, the Obama administration will have to deal with a starkly different Congress when they make their expected push for a multi-year transportation bill early next year. We know that some influential House Republicans, like John Mica, don’t necessarily believe that bigger highways will solve America’s transportation problems. And we know that […]