If They Build It (Road), People Will Come (Drive On It)

I am not city planner, but how does this work…

Near me was a four lane road/highway (two lanes in each direction) that had a fair amount of traffic, but was never all that crowded.

So a few years ago, they suddenly started re-building it and now it is four (and sometimes five) lanes in each direction…you could easily land a jumbo jet on this stretch of road!

This is what I find odd; the minute that huge new road/highway was finished, it was like a swarm of cars suddenly appeared out of nowhere and discovered it. The road/highway is always busy!

The amazing thing is, this is a mostly residential area with no large malls or businesses that would warrant such a huge-ass road in the area. Still, it seems if you build it, people use it! Of course now that it has been built, new businesses are popping up nearby, making the road/highway even busier.

Mind you, I certainly don’t regret that they built it and it certainly speeds things up coming and going from this neighborhood, but how did the powers-that-be figure out that if they built it, people would use it?! Or is that just the nature of new roads?

I’ve often heard it said that the more roads you build the more people use their cars but perhaps there is a specific local need that this new piece of infrastructure addressed. That is, I got nothing.

It’s like that around here too. Spend 5 years improving something to handle 50% more traffic and by the time its done traffic has increased 200%. The state DoT has finally caught on that just building more roads doesn’t in any way solve traffic problems. Unfortunately, the taxpayers/voters haven’t yet caught up to this thinking so there’s a bit of a conflict there.