No one has mentioned the lack of zoning. Remove zoning from a city and developers get to build what they want where they want, and most of their intercity residents have cars. Sure they have parking garages, but the drivers bring the cars out of those daily, clogging up streets. Everyone wants to cater to the car mentality. but the cars are only part of the equation. When we stop playing fast and loose with zoning, you will see change, and not before. I grew up in a city with zoning. There were never traffic issues in the inner city, because developers and business owners had to play by strict rules -- the most important of which was you can only built / operate certain businesses in certain places and you better make damn sure you have adequate parking. Houston has a traffic issue because Houston has a no-zoning issue, and because the NIMBY-minded are not about to let anything about that ancient, out-of-date status quo change.