Watch: How Induced Demand Explains the Vicious Cycle of Congestion

A new Vox video tackles the controversial and counterintuitive concept of induced demand.

February 24, 2021, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Vox continues its track record of creating videos that explain concepts related to transportation and land use planning to a huge audience (a 2017 video explaining the "High Cost of Free Parking" has almost 4 million views). This time the subject is induced demand, or the idea that new road capacity will only draw more drivers instead of providing congestion relief. Congestion relief is often sold to the public as justification for the large costs of capital investments in transportation infrastructure, but induce demand makes that promise as Sisyphean task.

According to an article by Laura Bult that accompanies the video, the Katy Freeway in Houston has come to serve as the most stark illustration of the concept.

For another useful explainer of the induced demand concept, see also an article published by then-CityLab in 2018.

Friday, February 12, 2021 in Vox

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