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Old 12-20-2014, 03:37 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,715,489 times
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Several interesting conclusions in that paper:

"there is currently little empirical basis for accepting or rejecting the claims of the American Road and Transportation Builder's Association that 'adding highway capacity is the key to helping to reduce traffic congestion', or of the American Public Transit Association that without new investment in public transit, highways will become so congested that they 'will no longer work'. We find that our data does not support either of these claims." pg 1

"Our data suggest the following law of road congestion: adding road capacity will not alleviate congestion on any sort of major urban road or dual highway within metropolitan boundaries." pg.3

"Individuals drive more when the stock of roads in their city increases. Commercial driving and trucking increase with a city's stock of roads" pg. 3

"We find that the welfare gains for drivers of building more highways are well below the cost of building these highways." pg. 3

"Our data suggests a 'fundamental law of road congestion' where the extension of most major roads is met with a proportional increase in traffic." pg. 42

"High levels of induced demand do not necessarily imply that improvements to the highway system are not in the public interest. However, our calculations suggest that an average extension of the interest network does not result in sufficient travel time improvements to justify its cost." pg 42

I especially like this final conclusion:

"our estimates of the demand for VKT (vehicle kilometers travelled) indicate that VKT is quite responsive to price. Together these findings strengthen the case for congestion pricing as a policy response to traffic congestion." pg. 43

Underscoring exactly what I've been saying all along, there is one strategy for dealing with congestion that actually works and that is tolling roads.
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Old 12-20-2014, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,062 posts, read 16,081,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
Explain Vancouver - no urban freeway - they made a conscious decisions to not do this and guess what - , people and goods get along just fine. In case you haven't noticed, the economy in Vancouver isn't exactly suffering.
Also generally regarded as having some of the worst traffic congestion in North America. Not bad for a small city like Vancouver.

Quote:
Now lets compare Vancouver to a place like Detroit. Detroit built every freeway that ever was pitched to them. In the process they exported their population to the suburbs and took a city of ~2 million to a city of ~600,000K.
Or Houston which has gone from 600,000 to 2 million.
Or Vancouver
Vancouver went from 350k to 600k
Metro Vancouver went from 560k to 2.3 million.

Did all those new roads built from 1980 to 2000 in Vancouver MSA alleviate traffic? No. An extra 900,000 people moved in, nearly doubling the population. Vancouver may not have freeways, but Greater Vancouver, where most of the population growth occurred, does. Vancouver is a good example of stratification. It's both one of the wealthiest and on of the poorest Canadian cities simultaneously. Since the traffic congestion is so bad, the real estate prices in Vancouver tend to be very high.

Quote:
Do freeways relieve congestion? They do not. In fact it's more accurate to say that they funnel and create congestion out of thin air where none existed before.
This is true. Freeways (or just roads) = Growth and development = more people driving. Build more roads, get more people and investment in the local economy. Do you really relieve congestion? Nope. Hello induced demand.

Quote:
Do freeways move people long distances? Absolutely - That's what they're excellent for - moving people and goods BETWEEN places, not THROUGH places. Connecting communities to each other is great. But once those freeways move through places they do much more harm than good.
Interesting. Seattle was booming in the '50s and '60s and early '70s which was really when it began it's decline ('70s and '80s) before entering another boom period that's continued through today. Likewise with NYC. It was really the '80s in New York that were bad. Since it was the freeways, it's odd that they took 30 years to really be felt.
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,687 posts, read 8,753,261 times
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`
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Also generally regarded as having some of the worst traffic congestion in North America. Not bad for a small city like Vancouver.


Can you provide some stats on this beside the Tom Tom faulty one that keeps going around and around?
I'm not saying traffic doesn't get hectic in Vancouver...but after driving in NYC, L.A. S.F. and even Seattle, Vancouver is pretty good.


Or Houston which has gone from 600,000 to 2 million.
Or Vancouver
Vancouver went from 350k to 600k
Metro Vancouver went from 560k to 2.3 million.

Comparing cities within two countries is tricky. The US has 9 times the population in which to move into urban areas than Canada has. Also Vancouver is hemmed in by mountains and ocean. So I'm not sure this proves one way or another that lack of freeways accounts for Vancouver's smaller population growth.

Did all those new roads built from 1980 to 2000 in Vancouver MSA alleviate traffic? No. An extra 900,000 people moved in, nearly doubling the population. Vancouver may not have freeways, but Greater Vancouver, where most of the population growth occurred, does. Vancouver is a good example of stratification. It's both one of the wealthiest and on of the poorest Canadian cities simultaneously. Since the traffic congestion is so bad, the real estate prices in Vancouver tend to be very high.

Of course roads are built as population grows, but there are really only 2 freeways, Highway 1 ( Trans Canada ) and Highway 99 . Except for a few offshoots, like the East/West Connector, these are the same freeways that have been there for many years, with Highway 1 just finishing some improvements. There are no plans for new freeways, as far as I know.
Where a lot of growth has been seen is along the Skytrain route.


This is true. Freeways (or just roads) = Growth and development = more people driving. Build more roads, get more people and investment in the local economy. Do you really relieve congestion? Nope. Hello induced demand.



Interesting. Seattle was booming in the '50s and '60s and early '70s which was really when it began it's decline ('70s and '80s) before entering another boom period that's continued through today. Likewise with NYC. It was really the '80s in New York that were bad. Since it was the freeways, it's odd that they took 30 years to really be felt.
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:20 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,715,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Also generally regarded as having some of the worst traffic congestion in North America. Not bad for a small city like Vancouver.
Two points here:

1. My point was about roads relation to prosperity. Vancouver has no urban freeways. Yet it has a remarkably robust economy. Thus - my point that urban freeways are not a necessary condition for prosperity.

With me so far?

Let's continue.

2. Also generally regarded as having some of the worst traffic congestion in North America. Not bad for a small city like Vancouver."

Has no bearing whatsoever on the point I was making. Nevertheless I shall address this - the wonderful thing about Vancouver is, you absolutely do not need a car. It's on of the most walkable, transit oriented, cities on the planet. Also happens to be one of the most pleasant cities to experience. Perfectly easy to get around by bike, or walking or on transit. Vancouver, unlike auto-dependent cities with horrific traffic (hello Houston) has options galore. In Houston, well in Houston you're just stuck in traffic. But good point.

"Or Houston which has gone from 600,000 to 2 million.
Or Vancouver
Vancouver went from 350k to 600k
Metro Vancouver went from 560k to 2.3 million."

Again, you seem to have missed my point altogether. I'll try again - focus now: my point about Detroit was - building every freeway ever pitched won't save your city from economic ruin. Thus, put together with the above we can arrive at this undeniable statement (which you cannot refute):

Urban freeways are neither a necessary (Vancouver) nor sufficient (Detroit) condition for prosperity.

Still with me? Concentrate big fella, concentrate.

"This is true. Freeways (or just roads) = Growth and development = more people driving. Build more roads, get more people and investment in the local economy. Do you really relieve congestion? Nope. Hello induced demand."

Freeways between places contribute to productivity. Freeways through cities by and large are net-drains on economy. They do induce demand for automobile trips on that you're right. Other cities induce demand for pedestrians by building great transit. Induced demand works all sorts of ways - isn't that cool?

"Interesting. Seattle was booming in the '50s and '60s and early '70s which was really when it began it's decline ('70s and '80s) before entering another boom period that's continued through today. Likewise with NYC. It was really the '80s in New York that were bad. Since it was the freeways, it's odd that they took 30 years to really be felt."

It's really hard to parse out this mess of a thought (I tried for a bit and finally had to give up). Put the bottle down next time before posting next time and try again.
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,523,816 times
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That is correct, a freeway isn't needed for prosperity. I don't think anyone thinks replacing the current viaduct with one that moves through the downtown more smoothly is for prosperity.

Though the property along the current viaduct will probably see their values go up with the removal of the elevated highways through the downtown.
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,565,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
That is correct, a freeway isn't needed for prosperity. I don't think anyone thinks replacing the current viaduct with one that moves through the downtown more smoothly is for prosperity.

Though the property along the current viaduct will probably see their values go up with the removal of the elevated highways through the downtown.
It is for prosperity. Undergrounding the Viaduct is paid by many for the benefit of the few.

[clever, actually]
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Old 12-20-2014, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,523,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEETC View Post
It is for prosperity. Undergrounding the Viaduct is paid by many for the benefit of the few.

[clever, actually]
There are also the benefit to those that use it. This new tunnel will have a smoother route than the current route and wouldn't run on an elevated highway that is ready to collapse at the next earthquake.
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Old 12-20-2014, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,565,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
There are also the benefit to those that use it. This new tunnel will have a smoother route than the current route and wouldn't run on an elevated highway that is ready to collapse at the next earthquake.
They could have built another elevated highway or built it at-grade to accomplish what you're saying. No...the decision was driven by the few who had a lot to gain. Safety? Look at this way: would you want to be in a tunnel a hundred feet below the surface in an earthquake?

[property value - it's the biggest variable that pushed it underground]

Last edited by MIKEETC; 12-20-2014 at 11:40 PM..
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Old 12-20-2014, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,523,816 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEETC View Post
They could have built another elevated highway or built it at-grade to accomplish what you're saying. No...the decision was driven by the few who had a lot to gain. Safety? Look at this way: would you want to be in a tunnel a hundred feet below the surface in an earthquake?

[property value - it's the biggest variable that pushed it underground]
Not without cutting through a number of existing buildings and disrupting the street grid that already exists.
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Old 12-20-2014, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,565,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Not without cutting through a number of existing buildings and disrupting the street grid that already exists.
They could have built it within the same alignment as the existing highway.

[of course, the existing highway would have to be demolished first]
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