What traffic engineers can learn from doctors

"Professionals make mistakes. Doctors made a 100-year mistake called the radical mastectomy, based on an erroneous theory of how cancer spreads. But when studies proved this surgery unnecessary, doctors replaced the once-common procedure with a less damaging treatment in a surprisingly short period of time.

Some traffic engineering techniques are a bit like radical surgery. But unfortunately, traffic engineers as a group have been much slower to recognize their erroneous techniques and replace them with less damaging practices."

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"Highways Destroyed America's Cities: Can tearing them down bring revitalization?" --The Atlantic

"America loves its freeways. After the 1956 Federal Highway Bill created the pathway for a 41,000 mile interstate highway system, states and cities jockeyed for the funding to build ever-more extensive networks of pavement that could carry Americans quickly between cities. Sometimes, they built these highways right in the middle of cities, displacing communities and razing old buildings and homes.

...But highways also created problems, some of which have become much worse in the years since. Urban freeways displaced communities and created air and noise pollution in downtown areas."

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California's DOT Admits That More Roads Mean More Traffic Take it from Caltrans: If you build highways, drivers will come.

"...it’s refreshing—and rare—to see the California DOT (aka Caltrans) link to a policy brief outlining key research findings from years of study into induced demand. The brief, titled “Increasing Highway Capacity Unlikely to Relieve Traffic Congestion,” was compiled by UC-Davis scholar Susan Handy. Here are the highlights:

  • There’s high-quality evidence for induced demand. All the studies reviewed by Handy used time-series data, “sophisticated econometric techniques,” and controlled for outside variables such as population growth and transit service.
  • More roads means more traffic in both the short- and long-term. Adding 10 percent more road capacity leads to 3-6 percent more vehicle miles in the near term and 6-10 percent more over many years.
  • Much of the traffic is brand new. Some of the cars on a new highway lane have simply relocated from a slower alternative route. But many are entirely new. They reflect leisure trips that often go unmade in bad traffic, or drivers who once used transit or carpooled, or shifting development patterns, and so on."

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710 Freeway Opposition Testimony Dominates October Metro Board Meeting

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Charter Local Edition w/ Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian & South Pasadena Councilwoman Marina Khubesrian

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Firm Questions Misguided Proposal to Build Freeway Tunnel Under Pasadena Area Cities

Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger article regarding the SR-710 from the “Eye on Environment” newsletter:

Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger article regarding the SR-710 from the “Eye on Environment” newsletter

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‘Beyond the 710’ Coalition Adamantly Opposes Tunnel Alternative

‘Beyond the 710’ Coalition Adamantly Opposes Tunnel Alternative

click here to see the rest of the article

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EPA calls 710 tunnel project report ‘inadequate’

EPA calls 710 tunnel project report ‘inadequate’

screenshot via San Gabriel Valley Tribune. For full article click here.

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TAKE THE POLL ON KPCC'S WEBSITE

Click here to take KPCC's poll on Metro's alternatives.  When you get to the KPCC website, scroll half way down the page and you'll see this poll:

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(screenshot from KPCC website)
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San Gabriel Valley council removes funding from 710 extension

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"Just weeks after throwing its support behind a controversial 710 Freeway tunnel, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments removed tunnel funding from a transportation priority list that could become part of a half-cent sales tax ballot measure in November 2016." READ MORE HERE...

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