A Letter From the Publisher: Sep. 12, 1988

National gridlock, the subject of this week's cover story, is a problem for individual travelers and large companies alike. With 18,000 U.S. employees, Time Inc. suffers along with many other firms from the snarls on roadways and runways that bring the nation ever closer to the ultimate jam-up. Gridlock costs billions of dollars in lost productivity, plus plenty of vein-popping frustration. The combination of close confinement, noise and often heat can turn a clogged encounter of the transportation kind into a waking nightmare.

That feeling struck TIME Correspondent Thomas McCarroll the day he set out for a luncheon interview with William...

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