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SG-W:/ Fwd: Induced Demand Article



For your interest.  Forwarded to me at work.  Laura

>Subject: Induced Demand Article
>Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2000 18:59:45 -0500
>
>
>  NEW & WIDER HIGHWAYS WORSEN CINCINNATI'S TRAFFIC GRIDLOCK
>AND SPRAWL:
>      NEW STUDY SAYS NEW HIGHWAYS CAUSE, NOT RELIEVE, UP TO
>43% OF TRI-STATE
>      TRAFFIC JAMS
>
>      CINCINNATI-Widening and building new highways actually causes,
>not
>      relieves, traffic congestion in Cincinnati and other major U.S.
>      metropolitan areas, according to a new study presented today to the
>      79th Annual Transportation Research Board in Washington, DC.  The
>      study estimated that up to 43% of traffic in Greater Cincinnati is
>      caused just by expanding the area's road network.  The study also
>says
>      that Tri-State traffic congestion would have grown less rapidly if no
>      new or wider highways were built at all, contrary to what highway
>      planners have predicted.
>
>      The study, "Analysis of Metropolitan Highway Capacity and the
>Growth
>      in Vehicle Miles of Travel," used data from the Texas Transportation
>      Institute's most recent database for 70 urbanized areas from
>      1982-1996. Using three models with different variables, the study
>      found that highway-induced traffic in the Cincinnati area (including
>      Northern Kentucky) increased by 14%-43%.  Highway-induced traffic
>      estimates for nearby metropolitan areas were 12%-35% in Columbus;
>      13%-30% in Cleveland; 20%-50% in Indianapolis; and 34%-77% in
>      Louisville.  The national average was 15%-45%.
>
>      "Simply put, this study adds to the growing evidence that traffic
>      congestion has been made worse, not alleviated as road builders
>claim,
>      by more and bigger highways.  It follows that to reduce traffic
>      congestion, and therefore air pollution and suburban sprawl, we need
>      to stop building and widening sprawl-causing highways," said Glen
>      Brand, director of the Cincinnati office of the National Sierra Club.
>      "Instead it would be smarter to plan our communities better so that 
>we
>      aren't forced to drive everywhere, and to provide greater
>      transportation choices such as commuter light rail and expanded bus
>      service."
>
>      The study's authors, Robert Noland, University of London Center for
>      Transport Studies and William A. Cowart, ICF Consulting in Fairfax,
>      VA., conclude that "induced travel effects strongly imply that 
>pursuit
>      of congestion reduction by building more capacity will have
>      short-lived benefits. This may be evidence for a strong sprawl
>      inducing impact of large increases in lane mile capacity relative to
>      the existing infrastructure. Recognition of these impacts implies 
>that
>      the benefits of new highway construction are less than would be
>      calculated from a static analysis that included no induced travel
>      impacts."
>
>      Currently, highway expansion is occurring all over the Tri-State,
>      including widening of I-71 and I-75, the new Butler County Regional
>      Highway, and a proposed Eastgate highway in Clermont County.
>
>      "In the light of this new research, policy-makers, including County
>      commissioners and engineers, Ohio Department of Transportation,
>and
>      Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Council of Regional Governments, need to
>      re-calculate the benefits and costs of highway expansion, said Sierra
>      Club's Brand.  "We are calling for a balanced transportation program
>      that spends as much on travel choices such as clean buses and light
>      rail trains as on building new sprawl-and-congestion-causing
>      highways."
>
>      Haynes Goddard, Professor of Economics at the University of
>Cincinnati
>      with expertise in transportation economics, said that "this study is 
>a
>      careful statistical analysis of the perverse effects of 
>insufficiently
>      considered highway investments, and how they can make our region
>a
>      less desirable place to live. It makes it clear that putting all of
>      our proverbial transport eggs in the highway basket reduces the
>      economic vitality of our region".
>
>      One study in Oregon showed that by planning development so that
>people
>      have easy access to commuter trains and other public transportation
>      choice, traffic for new development can be reduced from 10 car trips
>      per day to 6 trips per day.
>
>      "If people are tired of being stuck in sprawl mall traffic, we need 
>to
>      promote smarter planning and increase travel choices, not just build
>      more highways," said Brett Hulsey, coordinator of the Sierra Club
>      Challenge to Sprawl Campaign.  "More roads lead to more traffic like
>      bigger pants tend to lead to more weight gain.  We need to change
>our
>      philosophy to reduce, not increase sprawl and traffic."
>
>      The Sierra Club is calling on state and local leaders to spend at
>      least half of their transportation money on safety improvements to
>      existing streets and roads, and for public transportation
>      alternatives, and promote traffic impact analysis on new sprawl
>      development, and good planning measures to minimize traffic.
>
>      More information on induced traffic and sprawl can be obtained from
>      the Sierra Club web site at
>www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/resources/links.
>
>-
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