Study: Wider Highways Won't Reduce Congestion

March 13, 2018, 7am PDT by James Brasuell
Widening highways won't reduce congestion—that's the conclusion of a report paid for by the state agency proposing several highway widening projects in Oregon.

A new report (pdf) by Montreal-based engineering firm WSP has bad news for anyone who advocates for highway widening as a cure for congestion.

Dirk VanderHart shares news of the report by WSP, which was under contract with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to analyze the effects of proposed highway widening projects in the Portland area. According to the report, "none of the dozen highway-widening projects that are currently being planned in and around Portland by state officials would be enough in coming years to stem the increasing congestion choking Portland highways."

VanderHart notes that is a surprising finding for a report commissioned by the Oregon Department of Transportation—"a relentless champion of highway-widening projects." In fact, it sounds a lot more like the talking points of the vocal opposition to the plan to widen I-5 in the Rose Quarter of Portland.

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Published on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 in The Portland Mercury