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congestion increases the closest you drive to CBD

Build a road from 290 at Cameron to Riverside at IH-35.

Photo of Lillian Simmons
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Parallel to IH-35, since that's where the worst congestion is. Widening IH-35 would not be very good, because too many lanes makes passing inefficient, and this is why additional lanes to IH-35 do not double the capacity of a road. I used to work at Wilbur Smith & Associates Engineering firm in Columbia, South Carolina, in the highway department, as a secretary. I learned there that it's most efficient to build a new road from where the congestion begins to where it ends, rather than widen an existing road, because passing in a wide road is not efficient. Passing in a two lane road is very efficient. Adding one lane to a one lane road nearly doubles its capacity, but adding third or fourth lanes to a double lane road is not efficient because passing is very inefficient.

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Photo of Mark Lind

Interesting idea. I originally had a background in Biology, so I think of transit as being akin to the human circulatory system. The closer you are to the heart, the larger the diameter of the arteries! (We even call major streets “arterials.”) if you follow this line of thought to its logical conclusion, streets become wider/larger the closer you get to the central business district.

Of course that also means that you use up more and more available space just for roadways, that is unless you start building them vertically. Also, this gets a bit more complicated when you begin to allow greater density at suburban nodes, such as highway intersections etc., but the concept is the same.

I’m unclear as to how building new roads would work, when you already have established neighborhoods in between destinations....
It seems like going vertical above existing roads would be a better option.