More roads, more traffic, really dreary news.

Many analyses of road network expansion and congestion have challenged the notion that increasing highway capacity relieves traffic. A recent study of American cities emphasizes that you can’t build your way out of congestion. The analysis by Professors Gilles Duranton and Matthew Turner of the University of Toronto was based on travel data from hundreds of U.S. metropolitan areas. Streetsblog interviewed the authors and describes their paper, which will be published in the American Economic Review. Highlights of the post:

  • Neither additional highway capacity nor public transit investments were shown to reduce congestion.
  • Congestion pricing is recommended as “the main candidate tool to curb traffic congestion.”