Why the Grid Has More Latent Capacity Than a Highway

I want you to watch the youtube presentation by Dr. Eric Dumbaugh.  Eric, incidentally, will be at CNU23 in Dallas where we will be having discussions with local engineers on how to improve the models that go into traffic studies as well as the metrics after the fact to measure city performance.  He knows because he was a traffic engineer and worked at Texas Transportation Institute which puts out the annual Mobility Index (which the good doc touches on – and apparently isn’t so annual – haven’t seen one since 2011).

The most interesting part of the presentation might be where he digs into why conventional traffic engineers that are focused on corridor capacity can’t understand how freeway removals actually improve traffic.  As he says, “the answer to traffic congestion is distribution of traffic over a larger area, more access points into the grid.”  In effect, a highway actually reduces capacity because it undermines the ability of the grid to distribute traffic.

Jump ahead to the 27:00 mark for Dr. Dumbaugh’s presentation:

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