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No More Freeways: Urban Land Use Transportation Dynamics Without Freeway Capacity Expansion

Observations of the various limitations of freeway capacity expansion have led to a provocative planning and policy question – What if we completely stop building additional freeway capacity. From a theoretical perspective, as a freeway transportation network matures, there exists a saturation point beyond which any additional freeway capacity would only be counterproductive from a welfare point of view, and worsen the existing urban transportation problems. Traditional benefit/cost analysis of individual freeway capacity expansion projects often ignores long-term induced demand and land use changes and does not represent  a systems approach to this important theoretical issue. From a practical perspective, a no-more-freeway policy can relieve transportation funds for other potentially more effective usages, such as improving urban arterial street system, improving transit level of service and coverage, implementing demand management and pricing strategies, and facilitating more efficient land use patterns (e.g. high density in-fill and transit-oriented developments).