Tuesday, March 14, 2023

No Solutions

If you build for cars this is what happens.
In most U.S. cities, traffic is less congested than it was in 2019, as fewer people commute to offices, according to mobility data company Inrix. In some Sunbelt cities, such as Miami, Nashville and Las Vegas, where the population has surged in recent years, it has become worse.

These cities also attracted more companies and tourists during the pandemic. Local roads, built decades ago for a much smaller population, are struggling to accommodate the new reality.
No expert on every single location discussed here, but I do think it's underappreciated how relatively recent development patterns prevalent in these era have exacerbated the problem. A big culprit is single access road housing developments which all empty onto a single stroad. Sure you can get the desire to minimize through traffic in a residential neighborhood, but when every single area neighborhood is like that, there's an unavoidable bottleneck every time there's a bit of congestion. No way around it!

When I was a younger suburban kid this kind of traffic didn't really exist. There was rush hour highway traffic congestion, but local roads generally didn't get much more than busy during high traffic times. Some of that is just increased levels of density/development, but a lot of it is also the curse of single access road neighborhood design.