Why won’t more roads and transit cure congestion?

Why won’t more roads and transit cure congestion? by Lewis Lehe

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9 Responses to Why won’t more roads and transit cure congestion?

  1. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke March 29, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    “shadow drivers”… they’re so suspicious!

    • David Levinson
      David Levinson March 29, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      Yeah. So much more compelling than a Supply-Demand graph of “induced demand”

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  2. Eric Anondson
    Eric Anondson March 29, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    We could call them “lurker drivers”. Drivers lurking, watching, and waiting for the right pace of things to hop into the conversa … um … stream of traffic.

  3. Reuben Collins
    Reuben Collins March 30, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    I don’t think so. There is no reason we can’t build our way out of congestion if that is what we want to do (and we are willing to pay the various costs).

    The argument that we can’t build larger roads because “shadow drivers” will appear and use it again just means we didn’t build it big enough. We know if we expand capacity, people will modify behavior, we will meet latent demand, and we will induce new demand. If eliminating congestion is our objective, we just need to size the road to account for latent demand, induced demand, etc. There is some limit to how much people want to travel, and we are physically capable of building a roadway network that provides more capacity than there is demand.

    The real question is what will this cost in both capital, geographic, and social resources.

    • Walker Angell
      Walker Angell March 31, 2014 at 7:29 am #

      Is that true even for urban roads where width is physically limited by the distance between buildings? Intersections and junctions can be designed for this much growth?

      • Reuben Collins
        Reuben Collins March 31, 2014 at 9:31 am #

        You are describing a scenario where you have already determined that adding lanes to a roadway is not a desirable option (because it would involve demolition of everything on at lease one side of the street). We do not always make the same determination (see N Lowry Ave). Demolishing things to add capacity remains commonplace.

        Where at-grade junctions cannot handle the volume, grade separation and interchanges are the solution.

        This is my point: it is not accurate to say we can not physically accommodate more traffic. Of course we can. But the costs of doing so, and the built environment we would wind up with may not be worth it.

  4. Joseph Totten
    Joseph Totten March 30, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    But wait… building more transit means that I don’t personally have to deal with congestion, because I ride transit more than I drive my non-existent car… So in Microeconomics-Joe’sWorld, we can build our way out of congestion, by simply giving transit its own right of way!

  5. Froggie March 31, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    Still Stuck In Traffic, by Anthony Downs.

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