Thursday, June 29th, 2023

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"Can road capacity expansions provide a solution to traffic?" (Hint: data says no)

From the paper's abstract:

Building more roads is a commonly employed policy intervention to reduce congestion. This strategy, however, is controversial because under certain conditions road capacity expansions may induce growth in traffic volumes. A crucial precursor to understanding whether road capacity expansions provide a solution to congestion is to quantify the technology driving congestion in urban road networks. This congestion technology describes the variation in performance of the network, often represented by traffic flow through the road network, over its intensity of use given by the number of vehicles in the network.

A blog post on the State Smart Transportation Initiative looks at the study and shares a quote on the findings:

Our results suggest that capacity expansions do not lead to substantial changes in the average travel speed in the network. Thus, building more roads in major urban areas may create more congestion, pollution and collisions. Moreover, such policies may also increase the other wider negative consequences of vehicular travel such as global warming and climate change as they allow more mobility for urban residents.

And then they finish with their own thoughts:

They note that some targeted capacity expansions are inevitable, but other congestion management strategies like operational improvements, congestion pricing, and parking management could be more beneficial.

Finally, they add that while roadways become less efficient as the density of users increases, literature overwhelmingly suggests the opposite is true for rail and bus networks. "Thus," explain the authors, "public transport services are potentially more productive and cost-efficient compared to vehicular travel in dense city centres."

This study, while novel in its approach, only adds to the evidence and general understanding of induced demand, which more transportation agencies are recently coming to terms with.

6/29/2023 6:31 am | | Tags: urban planning, civil engineering, traffic


A friend of mine shared this wonderful sentiment from another person's social media post. While I don't have any children, I do have an aging dog who requires more care:

Whenever I'm having a tough parenting day I like to pretend I've traveled back from the future to spend just one more day with my baby. It always helps me gain perspective.

6/29/2023 8:51 am | | Tags: parenting, time travel, time, wisdom

Automated Archives for June, 29th 2023

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Wallabag Additions

These are articles that which I saved today so that I may read them later. Substance and quality will vary drastically.

Chess For the Day

Record: 2-0-3
Net Elo Change: -3

Games Played

Blog Posts On This Day

6/29/2023 10:45 pm | | Tags: longreads, automated, chess
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