Reconsidering Roads

It’s often thought that building roads helps reduce congestion, but new research published by the Texas Transportation Institute suggests that this might not be the case.
? Dallas has 62 percent more highway lane miles than the reference urban area (Twin Cities in Minnesota) and its congestion level is 21 percent higher.
? St. Louis has 61 percent more highway lane miles than the reference area and its congestion level is 16 percent higher.
? Houston has 36 percent more highway lane miles and its congestion level is 32 percent higher.
? Atlanta has 29 percent more highway lane miles and its congestion level is 40 percent higher.
? Denver has 21 percent more highway lane miles and its congestion level is 18 percent higher.
Increasing the number of roads and lanes available to motorists does not decrease congestion – it increases it, according to paper from Telework New Zealand.
This underlines the conclusion that the only real way we can reduce congestion is by removing cars from the network – and perhaps the best way of doing this is by reducing the need for people to travel.
Trip elimination, through telework approaches, can reduce peak hour traffic by five percent or more in Auckland, according to Auckland Regional Council research. (A full copy of the report quoted above can be found at www.mobility.tamu.edu.)

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