“If you want fewer traffic jams, it might be worth considering to remove a few roads. Don’t believe it? Here are a few examples.
“The closing of 42nd street, a very busy crosstown road in New York City, during Earth Day in April 1990, was expected to cause a traffic nightmare. Instead, as reported in The New York Times on December 25, 1990, the flow of traffic actually improved.
“In 2003, the Cheonggyencheon stream restoration project began in Seoul, removing a six-lane highway. The project opened in 2005, and besides substantial environmental benefits, a speeding up of traffic was observed around the city.”
Likewise, planners have called for the closing of parts of Main street in Boston and parts of the road connecting the Borough and the Farringdon underground stations, in London.
“If closing roads might help traffic flow, the negative effects of expanding a road network can be observed as well. For instance, in the late 1960s the city of Stuttgart decided to open a new street to alleviate the downtown traffic. Instead, the traffic congestion worsened and the authorities ended up closing the street, which improved the traffic.”
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