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

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Publication Date: June 2003

Author(s): Tony Dutzik; Robert Pregulman

Topic: Environment (Land resources and use)
Transportation (Highways)

Keywords: transportation; sprawl

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.


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