Smart Congestion Relief: Comprehensive Analysis Of Traffic Congestion Costs and Congestion Reduction Benefits
September 12, 2012Victoria Transport Policy Institute
This report examines the methods used to evaluate traffic congestion costs and the benefits of various congestion reduction strategies. It describes various biases in current congestion evaluation practices. It develops a more comprehensive evaluation framework which is applied to four congestion reduction strategies: Roadway expansion, improving alternative modes, pricing reforms, and smart growth land use policies. The results indicate that highway expansion often provides less total benefit than alternative congestion reduction policies. Comprehensive evaluation can identify more efficient and equitable congestion solutions. It is important that decision makers understand the omissions and biases in current evaluation methods.