This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
…maybe they’ll just find another way, argues Cascadia Report, discussing the “nightmare” I-5 closure that began today:
The clear takeaway is that people are more flexible than they think. In this case, there is a strong incentive (not wasting hours in traffic) to find alternatives. It’s exactly what would happen if the viaduct freeway were replaced with a combination of better transit and a more efficient network of surface streets. It’s exactly what would happen if there were tolls based on the amount of congestion on the roads. As long as there are effective alternatives (like far more transit, better carpool lanes) people will take them.
To be sure, August was strategically chosen because, in Francophone Seattle, no one really works this month. But it does show how elastic demand is for our highways. If you make a resource free, people will tend to over-consume it.