The street economics of induced demand

From the Novato Narrows to the Richmond Bridge, there’s talking of widening Marin’s highways with nary a thought given to the problems of induced demand, namely that any additional roadway capacity will quickly be used up, negating improvements to traffic speeds.

Guest poster Connor Jones picks things up from here.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about induced demand (Littman 2015), a widely established city planning model that attempts to explain why cities tend to maintain a steady state of congestion. I’ll go into some more detail on the theory of induced demand later, but I wanted to start with the economic model.

Continue reading.

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