Source: The Brookings Institution

Once traffic gridlock occurs in a community, it is almost always too late to do anything about it (The Brookings Institution). Traffic congestion tends to sneak up on communities gradually, and building new roads is often only a temporary solution to congestion. The costs associated with congestion in major cities are increasing around the nation (Texas Transportation Institute, using NHA data).

The following examples are for cities in the Northeast, but patterns are similar elsewhere in the US.

* Most cities cannot sprawl their way out of congestion.

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