More Roads, More Traffic: Why Highway Construction Won't Solve Traffic Congestion in Washington

Publication Date: June 2003


Author(s): Tony Dutzik; Robert Pregulman

Research Area: Environment; Transportation

Keywords: transportation; sprawl

Type: Report

Coverage: Washington


Expansion of Washington's highway network would be unlikely to result in a significant reduction in congestion on the state's roads. Academic research and practical experience have demonstrated that increases in highway capacity lead to increases in vehicle travel--reducing, or in some cases negating, the congestion-fighting benefits of the projects. An analysis of recent trends in Washington metropolitan areas shows that such a scenario is likely for the state should a significant program of highway expansion projects be approved.