New supply of lanes/roads only creates temporary gains in traffic flow and/or reductions in congestion. However, over the long-term new supply only induces more traffic and reducing demand-side pressures on congestion is THE ONLY way of reducing traffic congestion. This is fact and it is indisputable.
Here is the study:
Furthermore, the real losses are in the auxiliary effects of road widenings and new highways (particular inner city freeways). Those losses are in reduced land value around the freeways, reduced quality of life, and the extraordinary cost of planning, construction, and upkeep of something that is also proven to be a drain not only economically, but in terms of population as well.
The end result of a less livable city, is the kind of city that people don't want to live in, move away from, creating sparse development patterns and increased budgetary pressures and greater tax burden on fewer and fewer people.
On the other hand, if we focused on creating a more livable city, with less inner city freeways, it would be a reduced tax burden on people and result in increased economic development.
With a broke state, broke cities, and a broke DOT, we should be tearing down freeways within the city limits, restitching the urban fabric (the intelligent neural network of local economies) and selling the regained land off to developers willing to do high quality urban developments with an affordable housing component to meet the exceptional amount of pent up demand for walkable, livable urbanism and in town housing.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The DMN is starting to ask the right questions. Namely, Do More Roads Lead to Less Traffic? I responded in the comments: