Discussion: Highway Plans & Induced Traffic


Check out Brian Ladd’s discussion “You Can’t Build Your Way Out of Congestion.” – Or Can You? A Century of Highway Plans and Induced Traffic,” in The Planning Review, Volume 48, no. 3 (2012), pp. 16 – 23.

Abstract: The phenomenon of induced traffic was recognized (if rarely measured) even before the automotive age. Its existence calls into question the effectiveness of road construction as a solution to traffic congestion. Why, then, has it rarely been factored into highway investment decisions? An examination of references to induced traffic suggests that it posed an inconvenient complication to a consensus that had emerged by the 1920s. That consensus endorsed automotive mobility along with a commitment to keep building road space as long as traffic grew to fill it. Recent research challenges the factual assumptions underlying that consensus, but has not yet overturned the deeper beliefs upon which it rests.

(If you don’t have free access to the article through your library’s own collections, you may be able to obtain a copy for free through your library’s Inter-library Loan program.)

~Thanks to Asha W Agrawal for this post

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