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The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities

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  • Gilles Duranton
  • Matthew A. Turner

Abstract

We investigate the effect of lane kilometers of roads on vehicle-kilometers traveled (VKT) in US cities. VKT increases proportionately to roadway lane kilometers for interstate highways and probably slightly less rapidly for other types of roads. The sources for this extra VKT are increases in driving by current residents, increases in commercial traffic, and migration. Increasing lane kilometers for one type of road diverts little traffic from other types of road. We find no evidence that the provision of public transportation affects VKT. We conclude that increased provision of roads or public transit is unlikely to relieve congestion. (JEL R41, R48)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (October)
Pages: 2616-52

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:6:p:2616-52

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. I-405 Expansion in LA Offers a Case Study of the Fundamental Law of Traffic Congestion
    by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2010-01-07 01:19:00
  2. Can Improvements in Atlanta's Public Transit Infrastructure Reduce Road Congestion?
    by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-07-15 22:15:00
  3. Why new roads do not alleviate congestion
    by Olaf Storbeck in Economics Intelligence on 2011-10-24 21:32:08
  4. Wer Straßen sät, wird Staus ernten
    by Olaf Storbeck in Handelsblog on 2011-10-19 14:26:40
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