Thursday, September 15, 2016

Campbell Road Deterioration Outlined

"Campbell Road Improvements Deterioration Outlined."

There, Richardson, I fixed the headline to your "Week in Review" item. Widening Campbell Rd from US 75 to Collins Blvd is not an "improvement."

Those added lanes will fill up as fast as you can pour the concrete. TxDOT is overhauling Central Expressway (again). Adding lanes to Campbell Rd only encourages the added cars on US 75 to use Campbell Rd. You can't build your way out of traffic congestion. Induced demand is the phenomenon that after supply increases, more of a good is consumed. Road construction is Exhibit A.

Adding a traffic signal at Gateway Blvd is also not an improvement. The city says the new signal "will be timed to match the signal at Collins Boulevard, for minimal impact on east-west Campbell Road traffic." You can't time traffic signals to avoid impact on traffic in both directions. Stagger the lights in favor of eastbound traffic and westbound traffic is screwed. Stagger the lights in favor of westbound traffic and eastbound traffic is screwed. Pick one. Somebody gets screwed either way.

Lacking a sense of irony, the city makes the following statement: "To maximize sidewalk width along Campbell Road and because its lanes are already wider than required, only 8-10 feet of street widening is planned." Think about it. If the goal was to maximize sidewalk width, why not just widen the sidewalks instead of adding lanes for cars?

Really, why is the city pouring all this new concrete? It's partly because there's free money available. The majority of the funding for this road widening project is coming from the federal government. But it's mostly because the idea that we can build our way out of congestion is hard to kill.

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