If You Build Roads, Will They Come?

If you build additional road capacity, will traffic volume increase? Maybe, maybe not, according to the results of a new study.

Read Time: 1 minute

November 25, 2002, 4:00 AM PST

By Chris Steins @urbaninsight


A report released by the UnitedKingdom's Department of Transport. reviews seven before-and-after studies of the effects of new road links. The schemesconsisted of four bypasses of villages and towns of varying sizes, a major cross-country dualcarriageway completing a link between the M1 and A1, a new cross-river bridge in Belfast, and theremoval of an important bottleneck on an arterial into Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The intention of thestudies was to identify, so far as possible, any generation of new traffic beyond local reassignment.Five of the studies had to rely on measurements of traffic flow only, while two others were also ableto implement roadside interviews.... These studies provide some of thebest systematic evidence for the traffic generation caused by new roads, and the report makes anumber of recommendations regarding possible future studies. Editor's note: The link below is to to 500 Kb PDF document.

Thanks to Transport Policy Listserv

Tuesday, November 19, 2002 in U.K. Department for Transport

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