Stockton City Limits has a post today about the on going construction on Interstate 5 through Stockton. Though the blog’s author David Garcia supports improving the surfaces, he says the congestion relief provided by the new lane would eventually be lost because of something called “induced demand.”
“The concept of induced demand is simple: when you supply more of a good, more people will consume it. There may be no better example of induced demand than traffic. As more lanes open up on a highway, more people start using those lanes, meaning more people overall are driving, eventually leading to even more congestion. This specific phenomenon is known as ‘induced traffic.’”
He goes on to site research looking at induced traffic.