Why Building Roads Won’t Necessarily Solve Traffic Problems

June 25, 2014 in Daily Bulletin

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Building new roads isn’t the traffic solving panacea that people think it would be writes Adam Mann:

  • Studies have shown that if new roads are built, then the number of drivers increases by a roughly equal amount keeping levels of traffic the same.
  • With new roads people will work further away, take more trips, and draw business that will continue to clog up the streets.
  • A similar relationship seems true for public transportation.
  • The effect works in reverse too. If highways are demolished the amount of traffic still, roughly, stays the same.
  • The best way to actually reduce traffic is to introduce congestion pricing where drivers have to pay more for driving on busy roads, thus altering demand.

Read more about the limits to this finding and other details over here.

Source: Wired