|The Road to Ruin|
|Topic||Scarcity, Choice, and Opportunity Cost|
There are many expensive road construction projects in process. The rationale for them is that they will decrease the time taken to commute, and that they will improve road safety, once they are finished.
However, better roads attract more traffic. As a result, the time saved will be less than might be expected. For example, according to the Surface Transportation Policy Group, a project at an interchange in Springfield, Virginia, is delaying drivers 30 minutes each rush hour, and will do so for eight years, but only 30 seconds will be saved in commuting time per trip when it is completed.
As a result, the Policy Group encourages states to look to other ways of easing congestion. Accidents could be removed more quickly. Alternative means of transportation would also help.
(Updated November 1, 1999)
|Source||Scott Bowles, "Study: Road work won't give relief," USA Today, September 23, 1999.|
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