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58Bonne's 1958 Bonneville

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Car and Driver: Why Your City’s Traffic Doctor Probably Can’t Cure What Ails It

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Steve Finton

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Steve Finton worked in storm-water treatment, then became the traffic-engineering manager for Torrance, California, one of the larger independently incorporated cities within greater Los Angeles. In general terms, Finton’s job is the same as before: Maximize flow through the pipes. If you live someplace of any significant size, there’s a Steve Finton on your payroll, no doubt also trying to push more load through the existing plumbing. I live about a mile from Finton’s office, and I’ve spent the past 11 years driving around Torrance wondering what witless car-hating commissar designed the traffic system. There seem to be no priority streets in our seaside grid, the commuters evoking quantum physics by racing from red light to red light in short bursts of quickly dissipated energy. Crenshaw Boulevard, a name synonymous with riots but a reality of modest commercial and residential tracts, limps from one red-hued thrombosis to the next until it finally reaches its southern terminus at a lovely little park overlooking the Catalina Channel—a park that is rarely visited because people expire of old age or brain explosion before reaching it. READ MORE ››

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