Numerous studies have documented the phenomenon known as induced demand in transportation: Basically, if you build highway lanes, more drivers will come. And yet, transportation agencies rarely account for this effect when planning road projects.
Standard practice for the highway planners at state DOTs is to sacrifice all other concerns at the altar of fast car traffic. Nowhere has the effect been more obviously detrimental than Detroit, where the overbuilt freeway system helped hollow out one of America's largest cities. But highway planners in Michigan are starting to listen to people who say they want something different.
Still seeking to widen Highway 101 from eight to ten lanes, Caltrans and San Mateo County’s transportation agencies are now halfway through the required environmental review. At a community meeting on Wednesday evening, agency officials gave an update on the project [PDF] to widen the highway by adding express lanes, which allow buses and carpools […]