The Ozarks Transportation Organization is gathering public input on transportation projects. Click here to take the survey.
Two disappointing things:
1. Many of the projects listed in the survey involve increasing capacity by widening roads. The problem: It doesn’t work. Increasing capacity does not ease congestion. This fact has been well established (although you can still find traffic professionals who say increasing capacity is OK as long as you do other things to encourage the use of other roads, or public transportation, or bicycling, or some other such thing — the obvious premise being that increasing capacity increases demand which increases congestion which then requires the “other things” … on and on it goes). So why is OTO asking about such projects? Well, politics often has little to do with reality. Giving people what they want is expedient. Here are the results of a quick Google search:
- Building Roads to Cure Congestion is an Exercise in Futility
- Generated Traffic and Induced Travel
- Ease Congestion
- Study Shows Capacity Fails to Ease Congestion
- Traffic: Why It’s Getting Worse; What Government Can Do
- The Law of Traffic Congestion
2. The survey asks about bicycle infrastructure but conflates trails and bicycle lanes. These are entirely different things. You can search Carbon Trace for details if you wish, but I am on the record opposing most types of bicycle lanes and promoting separate trails such as our Ozark Greenways. I was forced by this conflation to vote against bicycle infrastructure projects in this survey because I do not wish to accept the moral responsibility for playing any role, no matter how small, in creating dangerous bicycle lanes.