Our Research

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More Roads, More Traffic: The Failure of Road-Building to Alleviate Traffic Congestion in Maryland

Despite spending millions of dollars to build 7,000 lane mile to its road network from 1985 to 2000, Maryland’s congestion problem continues to get worse. A major reason is generated traffic—the new, longer, or diverted trips that develop once highway capacity in an area is increased. Generated traffic reduces or negates the congestion-fighting benefits of highway expansion. Evidence from university studies of congestion patterns, government statistics on transportation and academic research shows that highway expansion is not an effective way to fight congestion. Maryland should shift its transportation strategy away from costly highway expansion projects and toward alternatives that can provide more transportation choices to residents.

(April 2002)
Paving the Way: How Highway Construction Has Contributed to Sprawl in Maryland

Highway construction has been a key factor creating sprawl in Maryland. Data shows that highways intended to serve the needs of existing communities and alleviate traffic have instead allowed migration outward from the cities. They have been a cause of sprawl rather than a solution to congestion. Paving the Way presents an analysis of all developed residential and commercial properties in central Maryland and the Eastern Shore in relation to all major highways, finding that highways act as magnets for development.

(November 2000)

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