A Fallacy of Smart Growth

article top

There is a fallacy to so called “smart growth” that people rarely consider. The idea is that increasing the density of housing development will result in a decrease in traffic congestion whereas the truth is quite the opposite. Putting more people in a smaller space increases the demand on resources and infrastructure.

Not everyone in a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) like those that are being considered along the fixed rail project on Oahu are going to ride the rail, bike or walk to work. The majority are still going to commute by automobile. This has been the experience of cities like Portland Oregon which is considered the poster child for smart growth.


Even though a TOD in Portland was designed to have only .61 parking places per resident the number of autos is substantially greater. Residents park illegally in the streets in such numbers that the police don