Building Your Way Out of Traffic? Not So Fast
The gut reaction for dealing with consistently jammed highways is to add more capacity through additional lanes or new highways. But studies say that doesn’t actually reduce traffic; contrarily, it increases the number of cars on the road so the jams come right back.
CityLab breaks it down, explaining the phenomenon is caused by “induced demand,” which it defines as the idea that increased road capacity encourages more people to drive, resulting in a net increase of cars on the road. But is that really what happens?