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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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New evidence that smart growth my reduce local congestion as well...

New evidence that smart growth my reduce local congestion as well... | green streets | Scoop.it
We have long known that residents of smart-growth neighborhoods – those with central locations, walkable streets, nonsprawling densities, and a good mix of shops and amenities – drive significantly less than do residents of spread-out suburban subdivisions. But, writing in his blog hosted by Planetizen, Todd Litman reports on a new Arizona study that found that those attributes can reduce local congestion as well:

[The study] found that roadways in more compact, mixed, multi-modal communities tend to be less congested. This results from the lower vehicle trip generation, particularly for local errands, more walking and public transit travel, and because the more connected street networks offer more route options so traffic is less concentrated on a few urban arterials. This contradicts our earlier assumptions...

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The Only Hope for Reducing Traffic

The Only Hope for Reducing Traffic | green streets | Scoop.it
A new study makes the fundamental case for congestion pricing...

In 1962, transportation researcher Anthony Downs suggested that U.S. cities suffered from a fundamental law of highway congestion: "This Law states that on urban commuter expressways, peak-hour traffic congestion rises to meet maximum capacity." What was the case half a century ago remains true today. Except worse. In a research paper published in this month's American Economic Review, a pair of economists from the University of Toronto confirm the fundamental law of highway congestion, but argue it doesn't go far enough. 

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Building More Roads Does Not Ease Congestion

Building More Roads Does Not Ease Congestion | green streets | Scoop.it

Congestion is not an easy beast to tame for cities around the world. Building more roads and increasing the capacity of public transport does little to improve congestion, according to new research conducted in American cities and published by economists at the University of Toronto. The authors expand upon the classic “law of peak-hour traffic congestion,” published by Anthony Downs in 1962, which states that “on urban commuter expressways, peak-hour traffic congestion rises to meet maximum capacity.” Researchers believe that the law can be applied to all major urban roads, not just expressways.

The main issue is the intense demand for space on roads. When a new space is opened, either by building new roads or incentivizing drivers to switch to public transport, the road space vacated is soon occupied by more cars. The provision of more road space does nothing to diminish the underlying demand causing the congestion.

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5 Cities, 5 Congestion Solutions

5 Cities, 5 Congestion Solutions | green streets | Scoop.it
Congestion problems are different in every city, as are the solutions.

Here are five cities with five different congestion innovations, each of which has been featured on This Big City in the last two years...

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