You ARE Traffic

Image: @BrentToderian

This signage is a good reminder: When you’re driving, you’re not stuck in traffic. You ARE traffic. You ARE why congestion, bumper-to-bumper queues, and gridlock form.

A typical response from traffic planners has often been “let’s widen the roads and build even more of them, too.” But new roads attract more traffic – a concept known as “induced demand”. As the great American urbanist Lewis Mumford says: “Building more roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity.”

Road congestion: “That’s a product of your individual choices, as well as our collective choices, including who we choose to give city-building powers to and the choices they make with that power.” ~ Brent Toderian, city planner and global cities advisor