Source: http://www.canadiandriver.com/news/061220-4.htmDecember 20, 2006
More roads don't necessarily mean more traffic, study says
Ottawa, Ontario - The findings of a new Conference Board study says that expanding roads and highways does not significantly increase road usage. The board says that the findings challenge a widely held view that building roads and highways at a rate that matches growth of the driving-age population increases the amount that people drive.
"Where people live is the most significant factor in determining how far they drive," says John Roberts, Director, Environment and Energy. "A major part of the solution to Canada's transportation challenges is more dense urban development, so people live closer to their workplaces and the services they use."
The report concludes that, in addition to population density, measures such as congestion tolls, similar to these in London, England, have a greater effect on driving habits than limiting construction of roads and highways.
The study is the first in Canada to test for evidence of whether new road construction causes Canadians to choose to drive more; it also incorporates socio-economic factors into the analysis, including the share of Canadians residing in urban areas, vehicles per person of driving age, population growth, real per capita disposable income, established driving habits, and the price of gasoline relative to the price of local transit.
Interesting because it certainly contradicts what public transportation advocates are saying about building new roads.