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Traffic Problems Essay

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Updated: Mar 14th, 2020

Traffic is a common problem. However, despite the availability of solutions to traffic congestion, economic viability is a significant barrier. Additionally, any construction may face additional risks according to the area’s weather patterns. Wilmot and Cheng (2003) write that- after the hurricane damage has been accounted for- Louisiana will pay 75% more than the state had projected for the years 1998 to 2015.

These situations create a productivity dilemma as a lack of funding halts construction and create a bigger negative response from the public. Initially, the impact of construction is great. However, the shifting of city centers and the deterioration of the highway system demand extensive changes.

At face value, highway construction may not seem to be worth the initial and residual (maintenance) costs, but, according to the Texas Transportation Institute, traffic congestion cost American motorists approximately 7.2 billion dollars in 1997, and 11% of wage hours were spent in the commute to-and-from- their place of work (Chasey, de la Garza, & Drew, 2002).

Drezner & Wesolowsky (1997) created an algorithm which demonstrates the optimal ratio of one-way to two-way streets, and the authors’ results fell in the middle range of their liberal goal set. This represents an average of 0.25 seconds at every street light. For a cross-town commute, especially in particularly congested cities, a worker will save minutes or even hours.

While the potential gain of building highways may seem small if taken purely as an investment in materials, then the cost-benefit ratio is drastically skewed. This same dilemma faces preventive technologies which seek to avoid accidents altogether.

However, fewer accidents would cut the costs of insurance, or motor vehicle repair, and emergency response teams, i.e., the police, emergency medical technicians, etc. Since these positions would remain necessary, employment would not be lost- merely mainstreamed for greater productivity. This may also decrease the need for accident-related damages and reduce construction costs(Papic, Aronov, & Panetlic, 2009).

For states and countries already facing an uphill economic battle, a simpler, cost-effective solution is to implement stricter regulations for motor vehicles to pass inspection and to provide state tax incentives for maintenance and repair shops to decrease the standard rates which they charge customers (Papic, Aronov, & Panetlic, 2009).

We submit that- at the very least- these lower rates should be available to city buses and handicapped permit-possessing vehicles. As discussed, one of the largest drawbacks to these investments is the reality of the unpredictable nature of the weather, of technology, and of the frequency of pursuing eco-friendly alternatives, such as buses, trains, rails, and high-occupancy vehicles, but the costs of not moving forward are greater than the initial investment.

One-way streets can be very effective for both traffic reduction and accident prevention but must be carefully planned to realize their full potential, because one-way streets may not have turnarounds for each street, creating a problem for traffic flow in some cases.

They must also be accompanied by clear, visible street signs, repainting, and reprogramming of street lights (Drezner & Wesolowsky, 1997). For preventive technologies and laws, the balance of employment shifts to a greater need for quality control and careful regulation (Papic, Aronov, & Panetlic, 2009).


Chasey, A. D., de la Garza, J. M., & Drew, D. R. (2002). Using Simulation to Understand the Impact of Deferred Maintenance. Computer-Aided Civil & Infrastructure Engineering, 17(4), 269-279. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Drezner, Z., & Wesolowsky, G. O. (1997). Selecting an Optimum Configuration of One-Way and Two-Way Routes. Transportation Science, 31(4), 386. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Papic, L., Aronov, J., & Pantelic, M. (2009). SAFETY BASED MAINTENANCE CONCEPT. International Journal of Reliability, Quality & Safety Engineering, 16(6), 533-549. doi:10.1142/S0218539309003563

Wilmot, C. G., & Cheng, G. G. (2003). Estimating Future Highway Construction Costs. Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, 129(3), 272. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

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