The opinion is expressed that we tend to place more of a burden on government despite evidence that government is inefficient. Some of the reasons for this are explored in the belief that they may be of value in the design of systems in which the micromotives of decisions makers do not encourage them to do so. The first of these is that we are increasingly aware of the complexity of these matters, desire to deal with them in a comprehensive fashion, and consider that only a general body like government has the jurisdiction to do so. Secondly, as the government deals with more of these values, it bears a significant part of the blame for each new crisis. Thirdly, the government is less ruthless than the marketplace. The question is asked (and discussed) why comprehensiveness and participation are highly conservative forces. Participation and political reform (nonorganized politics) tend to go with a desire for widespread public participation. It is also suggested that we tend to underestimate the need for authority in our governmental systems even as we overestimate the role that government ought to play. In the discussion which follows, the Los Angeles experience is described. In southern California, an attempt is being made to centralize the authority of transit decision making with elected officials; to establish a mechanism and institutional arrangement with the corresponding authority to enable local officials to make the appropriate programming decisions; to allow, in the near future, to incrementally implement a fixed guideway system program; and come to grips with low capital programs interrelated with traffic management programs.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Proceedings of a conference held March 23-26, 1975 at Orlando, Florida. See individual sections, HRIS #127487 - #127495.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

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  • Authors:
    • Altshuler, Alan
  • Discussers:
    • Emerson, Norman H
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1975

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Pagination: pp 59-66
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00127494
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 10 1976 12:00AM