Induced Demand

I recently read an online forum with Torontonians posting how they could solve congestion in the GTA. I was surprised when a large amount of commenters agreed that adding more highways and widening roads would equate to a decrease in congestion. I must inform you that this is not the case. Adding additional lanes and creating more highways will not solve congestion, it will actually increase this problem in the GTA. Matthew Turner (2009) an economist from the University of Toronto found that this is a direct relationship with increase road capacity and the addition of more vehicle on the roadway. They also found out that increase in public transit infrastructure did not reduce the these traffic woes. This excerpt from the article perfectly describes what roads allow drivers to do:

The answer has to do with what roads allow people to do: move around. As it turns out, we humans love moving around. And if you expand people’s ability to travel, they will do it more, living farther away from where they work and therefore being forced to drive into town. Making driving easier also means that people take more trips in the car than they otherwise would.

I believe that there needs to be a complete paradigm shift around public transit and single vehicle transportation. Firstly, I agree that tolls on our highways will work to partly reduce congestion. With the funds collected from the tolls going towards infrastructure development, transit improvement, and providing reduce transit passes to members of the public that needs it. Secondly, having tax incentives for using public transit, such as tax cuts to businesses that have most of their employees taking public transit. Thirdly, providing incentives to commuters that use alternative modes of transportation – cycling, electric vehicles, hybrids. Although, one could say that electric vehicles and hybrids are an elitist mode of transportation.

More importantly, I believe that today’s society are realizing the true cost of having a vehicle and the additional cost that comes with it; gas, insurance, maintenance.

In the end, to solve congestion woes in the GTA there needs to be a paradigm shift around transportation. There needs to be a cost associatied with driving, tolls are a solution for that.There also needs to be both promotion and proper funding towards public transportation infrastructure.

Read more here: Wired – Traffic Engineering Here


Uncategorized Urban

Millennials want better cities

In a recent article from CityLab it stated that there is shift in what residents want from their cities. It stated as more Baby Boomers move out and Millenials move into the city core and even suburban spaces they are influencing planning policies. Millennials are likely to use alternative modes of transportation and prefer to walk. This could and probably will lead to drastic shift in planning with more investment in public transportation and bicycle infrastrucutre.
You can read more about the article here:
Uncategorized Urban

The need for Urban Forestry

There is a need for urban ecology in our Cities. A recent publication from TD Bank states that urban foresty in Toronto is valued at $7 Billion. Now, I do believe the monetary value is used in most cases for it to be relatable for the general public. I think most would not understand the impacts of congestion, urban vegetation, or the July flood if there was not a monetary figure connected to it. The break down of this cost includes weather flow, carbon sequestering, and air quality. This does show how vital urban forestry is. Some of the damage from the July Flood in 2013 could of been mitigated if there was more urban forest. Hopefully, the City and other cities will begin to add more additional greenscpace in their planning since of the numerous benefits they provide.
From the publications it states:
Bottom line Urban forests are made up of the trees, shrubs and plants that grow in our yards and parks and that line our streets. Torontonians recognize that their urban forest represents an important investment in the city’s environmental condition,
human health and societal well-being.
Climate Change Public Health Uncategorized Urban

Here’s a look at some of the Anti-Fifa Street Art in Brazil

Here’s a link to view more of these images : Anti-Fifa Street Art

There is a school of thought where infrastructure development will lead toward economic growth. However, this is not the case. If we look at the majority of sites that host the Olympics and World Cup they tell another story. Most sites are over-budget, takes a lot of money to maintian them, and are usually closely connected with social/environmental justice issues. There needs to be a paradigm shift in this thinking. I believe that countries to move away from this type of infrastrucutre devlopment and take a close look at the deep costs related to these type of events.