Paris, Road Closures, Traffic Evaporation and the Braess Paradox

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The website h2020 has a very interesting examination of “traffic evaporation”-what happens to all that traffic when you close urban expressways in cities?  The Paris Region Planning and Development Agency (IAU Île-de-France) has been examining the impact of these closures in large cities around the world, and has come up with some startling conclusions.

Despite the initial fears, the removal of fast lanes does not worsen traffic conditions beyond the initial adjustments,” explains Paul Lecroart, urban planner at IAU and a specialist on this issue. “In all the cities studied, the evaporation of traffic is an important element to observe”.  Here is what is interesting-when a fast lane is removed, overall traffic decreases by 14 per cent after several months. Why? “The reasons that lead to traffic evaporation can be several, one of them is the so-called “induced traffic“: when you create a fast…

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