What would have helped better evacuate people from New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina? Well some have suggested better buses or mass transit. But according to Ian Murray on TechCentral Station, car ownership is by far the most significant factor determining whether people stay or leave. To see this, he suggests one need only compare the evacuations in Houston and New Orleans. Among black households alone, nearly one-third of those in the New Orleans area had no access to a vehicle, compared with just 16 percent in the Houston area. Since car ownership also improves economic opportunities by opening up other job markets, expanding so-called “automobility” may be at least one way to begin curing our social ills.

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