Sightline Series

Dude, Where Are My Cars?

danielle scott, flickr. modified.

Throughout the Northwest, transportation planners predict traffic volumes will grow and grow. And they think we need to build massive, multi-billion dollar road projects–including Portland’s Columbia River Crossing, Vancouver’s Gateway Program, and Seattle’s deep-bore tunnel and 520 bridge–to deal with the inexorably rising tide of traffic.

But over the past decade, actual traffic trends have bucked predictions. In some places, traffic volumes have held steady; in others, they’re falling. This conundrum has got Sightline blogger Clark Williams-Derry asking, “Dude, where are my cars?” (Photo credit: danielle scott, flickr, modified)

Posts on Dude, Where Are My Cars?

36. Where Are My Cars, My Good Chap?

Evidence of flat-lining traffic in the UK and Vancouver, BC.

35. Dude, Where Are My Cars: Port Mann Bridge

Despite falling traffic, BC puts its bets on more cars.

34. SR-520: A Case of Bad Forecasting?

Early predictions overstated growth, underestimated diversion.

33. Driving Less in Oregon

State transportation department reports that travel fell in 2011.

32. Gas Consumption Shifting Into Reverse?

High prices lead drivers to cut back.

31. Older Boomers, Less Driving

The peaking of the middle-aged population will shift per capita driving into reverse.

30. Dude, Where Are My Cars: Spokane

Spokane joins the declining-traffic club.

29. Dude, Where Are My Cars: I-405

Through central Bellevue, traffic on I-405 has been flat for a decade.

28. Traffic Forecasting: A Blast from the Present

Reliably-wrong traffic models are so passe...right?

27. Traffic Forecasting: A Blast from the Past

How traffic forecasts end up at odds with reality.