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Transportation in a Growing City

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry recently announced that the city plans to invest $5.2 Billion in a new mass public transportation system. Nashville is a city that has been plagued by traffic problems in recent years. These problems are the result of inadequate roads and highways. When much of the city’s roads, highways, and public transportation was built, Nashville’s population was less than half what it is today. Thus Megan Barry plans to alleviate overcrowded roads by adding more capacity in terms of transportation for the city.

However, many critics rightly argue that increasing capacity does not necessarily improve traffic flow. In fact, the new additions to Nashville’s public transportation may impede traffic flow, according to Braess’s paradox. This idea states that adding capacity to a network (of roads, for example) to improve traffic flow will have the reverse effect when the moving entity choses a route to improve individual travel time. In Nashville’s case, this idea means that added capacity may reduce overall efficiency, since everyone will continue to use routes that maximize their individual efficiency.

http://fox17.com/news/local/nashville-mayor-announces-52-billion-transit-plan-includes-citys-1st-light-rail-system

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