IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Road capacity change and its impact on traffic in congested networks: evidence and implications


  • Roger Behrens
  • Lisa Kane


This article reviews explanations of, and international empirical evidence for, 'induced' traffic as a result of increased road capacity and 'suppressed' traffic as a result of decreased road capacity. In essence, the former refers to new traffic appearing as a result of new road construction, while the latter refers to traffic disappearing as a result of road closure. Despite problems with the available data and their measurement, it is concluded that - with the caveats of either pre-existing congestion in the case of capacity increases or no spare capacity in the case of capacity decreases - the weight of evidence indicates that induced and suppressed traffic are indeed real phenomena. It is argued that the link between traffic and road capacity is therefore far more complex than previously understood. The implications this has for both urban passenger transport planning practice and policy formulation are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Behrens & Lisa Kane, 2004. "Road capacity change and its impact on traffic in congested networks: evidence and implications," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(4), pages 587-602.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:21:y:2004:i:4:p:587-602 DOI: 10.1080/0376835042000288806

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    2. Haddad, Lawrence James & Adato, Michelle, 2001. "How effectively do public works programs transfer benefits to the poor?," FCND discussion papers 108, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Hentschel, J. & Lanjouw, P., 1996. "Constructing an Indicator of Consumption for the Analysis of Poverty. Principles and Illustrations with Reference to Ecuador," Papers 127, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    4. Fafchamps, Marcel & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 1999. "Social roles, human capital, and the intrahousehold division of labor," FCND discussion papers 73, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Ahmed, Akhter U. & Bouis, Howarth E., 2002. "Weighing what's practical: proxy means tests for targeting food subsidies in Egypt," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5-6), pages 519-540.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. David Levinson, 2008. "Density and dispersion: the co-development of land use and rail in London," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 55-77, January.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:21:y:2004:i:4:p:587-602. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.