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Building highways is certain to cause trouble. The enterprise must contend with the schizophrenia of a populace which chafes at any obstacle to freedom of movement in its role as consumer of transportation goods and services and yet demands in its capacity as landowner, conservationist or merchant that transportation facilities be constructed (or not constructed) in a manner which maximizes nontransportation values. Almost everybody tends to be for highways-provided that they go through somebody else's back yard while remaining close enough to his own property to provide access without loss of other amenities. But it is not only that we are differentially affected by particular highway projects that creates dissension. Even if we could agree on the broad categories of things that are valuable to all of us and that we would like considered in highway planning, we would not be likely to rank them in the same order of priority. We are faced here, as in so many other areas, with developing a system of public choice which optimizes the realization of the demands of the whole populace within the constraints of limited resources.
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