By Dom Nozzi
March 17, 2017
Regarding the proposed $2 billion to TEMPORARILY save seconds or minutes by building the “Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway” in southern Phoenix AZ…
Will that $2 billion expenditure of public tax dollars be worth it.
After about 2-5 years, the congestion will be worse (not the best way to spend $2 billion public dollars). Not MIGHT BE worse. It WILL be worse. Adding capacity/widening (which often destroys low-income areas or areas lived in by those without political power) is pretty much the worst thing that can be done.
By contrast, one of the more effective tools is a road/highway toll.
In general, since it tends not to be politically feasible to apply a toll, the best options are to realize that congestion is inevitable (a sign of a healthy place people want to be in), and to create ways to avoid the congestion: close-in housing/jobs/shopping, connected streets, grade-separated transit, etc.
The new highway is the same old tactic America has tried to solve congestion for the past century. Every one of those unimaginably expensive efforts has failed. Every one.