cost of life > cost of congestion

Posted on November 4, 2011

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Infrastructure enthusiasts often use the financial burden of congestion as a reason to streamline capital projects. Don’t question the traffic forecasts–a person’s time is valuable and therefore congestion has a direct financial impact. True. But what about designing roads that lead to crashes? How much does that cost?

AAA studied 99 urban areas and found that the cost of crashes was 3 times higher than the cost of congestion. (Never mind the other common sense reasons not to make city street corridors even wider.)

Makes you wonder about all those hurried “shovel ready” arterial projects that were designed years ago and are hostile to pedestrians and cyclists. At the end of the story, AAA recommends roundabouts. So once again, an insurance group is recommending roundabouts instead of traffic lights. Ambulance-chasing attorneys are probably watching…

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Posted in: News + Trends