Induced Demand Be Damned: Missouri Governor Proposes I-70 Expansion

Highway widenings still attract support from both sides of the political aisle, despite the inadequacies of the approach in solving the problems it intends to solve.

Read Time: 1 minute

January 23, 2023, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


An image taken from the point of view of a driver on a mostly empty freeway, with large overpasses overhead.

Arina P Habich / Shutterstock

Missouri Governor Mike Parson proposed a widening of Interstate 70 near Kansas City for an estimated cost of $859 million during a recent State of the State address. As reported by Jonathan Shorman and Kacen Bayless for the Kansas City Star, the proposal drew applause from both sides of the political aisle in the Missouri State Legislature.

“Politicians across the political spectrum have long been drawn to highway expansions, with orange cones and fresh asphalt a time-tested way to demonstrate they can deliver for constituents,” write Shorman and Bayless.

The article explores the idea that the project will not deliver for constituents as promised, citing the authority of Jonathan Levine, a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan, who explains the concept of induced demand—that widening roads will encourage more driving and quickly overwhelm the added capacity of the road.

Not everyone in Kansas City thinks widening I-70 would be a good idea. In 2017, local writer Eric Bunch argued for removing a section of I-70 where it passes through downtown Kansas City altogether.

Friday, January 20, 2023 in The Kansas City Star

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Sharrow bike markings on black asphalt two-lane road with snowy trees

Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’

The lane marking was meant to raise awareness and instill shared respect among drivers and cyclists. But their inefficiency has led supporters to denounce sharrows, pushing instead for more robust bike infrastructure that truly protects riders.

January 26, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

A tent covered in blue and black tarps sits on a downtown Los Angeles sidewalk with the white ziggurat-topped L.A. City Hall looming in the background

L.A. County Towns Clash Over Homelessness Policies

Local governments often come to different conclusions about how to address homelessness within their respective borders, but varying approaches only exacerbate the problem.

February 3 - Shelterforce Magazine

Rendering of mixed-use development with parks and stormwater retention on former Houston landfill site

A Mixed-Use Vision for Houston Landfill Site

A local nonprofit is urging the city to consider adding mixed-use development to the site, which city officials plan to turn into a stormwater detention facility.

February 3 - Urban Edge

Aerial view of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin at sunset

Milwaukee County Makes Substantial Progress on Homelessness

In 2022, the county’s point-in-time count of unhoused people reflected just 18 individuals, the lowest in the country.

February 3 - Urban Milwaukee