Forget Low Traffic Neighborhoods, Planet Needs No Traffic Neighborhoods – Forbes
Carlton Reid 8/9/21
Let’s ban cars. Not just internal combustion-engined cars—that should happen within eight years anyway—but all of them. Sorry, Elon, even electric cars.
Too radical? OK, let’s keep some cars but instead dismantle all auto-centric roads installed since the 1920s. This isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. Plenty of places have demolished flyovers and have not seen any increase in congestion. The poster child of the “freeway removal” movement is the transformation of an elevated highway in the Cheonggyecheon district of Seoul, South Korea, successfully turned into a linear urban park in 2006.
There are many other examples, such as the removal in 2014 of the Belgrave Road flyover in Leicester and the dismantling of San Francisco’s double-decked Embarcadero Freeway following the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989.
Removing these roads didn’t result in any short- or long-term congestion. Predicted jams never materialized. Academics call this “traffic evaporation.” Just as building more roads leads to more use of those roads—induced demand has been well understood since 1866—removing them leads to a reduction in use.