Stock Groups

U.S. highway expansions increase traffic and pollution, environmental groups say -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Traffic seen ahead of July Fourth holiday in New York on July 2, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

Tina Bellon

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters). – The U.S. policy of building highways to relieve congestion is ill-conceived and leads to more traffic and pollution.

Colorado-based RMI, Transportation for America and the National Resource Defense Council, (NRDC), released an online calculator on Thursday to illustrate the detrimental effects of highway constructions across the United States.

According to the groups, decades-long investments in infrastructure highways have not provided much relief. In fact, they eventually led to more vehicles filling up in an phenomenon called “induced demand.”

“Road-expansion projects have not delivered the promised benefits. The evidence actually shows they increase traffic and pollution,” explained Ben Holland from RMI’s Urban Transformation Program.

U.S. officials plan to expand highways. $110 billion would make up the bulk of a federal transportation program that is proposed to cost $550 billion. It will be used for funding infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and other major infrastructure. It is part of the $1 billion bipartisan infrastructure agreement that Congress has stalled.

Texas’ I-35, the most ambitious planned highway extension, is located in Austin. There, $7.5 billion of federal and state funds will be used to expand and widen it by multiple lanes as well as build tunnels that allow for more lanes.

Data from transportation analytics firm Wejo revealed that the highway ranks among the worst in traffic congestion in America, with commuters arriving as far away as Dallas and Houston.

Graphic: Austin rush onto I-35 dominated by downtown traffic – https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-INFRASTRUCTURE/HIGHWAYS/zdpxoraayvx/chart.png

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), says that the Texas Department of Transportation’s expansion is needed because the existing highway is not adequate to accommodate Austin’s growing population.

Tucker Ferguson, TxDOT Austin District Engineer said that “with the expansion more traffic can get back onto the interstate from congested cities streets.”

However, environmental groups believe that by expanding the greenhouses to the extent proposed, it will produce a cumulative 2,000,000-3,000,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2050. This is equivalent to adding 32,500 passenger cars annually.

Carter Rubin, NRDC’s transportation strategist, stated that cities and states should provide more opportunities for residents to cycle, walk, and ride public transit if they want to reduce smog and get them out of congestion.

Disclaimer Fusion MediaThis website does not provide accurate and current data. CFDs are stocks, indexes or futures. The prices of Forex and CFDs are not supplied by exchanges. They are instead provided by market makers. As such, the prices might not reflect market values and could be incorrect. Fusion Media is not responsible for trading losses that may be incurred as a consequence of the use of this data.

Fusion MediaFusion Media or any other person involved in the website will not be held responsible for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on this information, including charts, buy/sell signals, and data. Trading the financial markets is one of most risky investment options. Please make sure you are fully aware about the costs and risks involved.



Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.