Traffic in decline? some examples

In response to the previous post, a reader JV sent me data showing that some traffic predictions for 2021 (predictions made in 2003 TMP) are wildly too high, and that in fact measured traffic is actually declining on the Main Street and Bank Street bridge screenlines. (Bridges make nice places to count traffic as they are funnels, with limited by-pass options). Nonetheless, these old predictions continue to carry weight in justifying more road expenditures.

Hmm. Anecdotal evidence, or some sample points, does not yet make a trend.

But I am reminded that when our neighborhood fought the Bronson widening (see, suggesting a road diet was appropriate, the city engineers cranked out a list of at least a dozen streets that were wider than necessary for the volume of traffic they carried. This tended to be former urban streets that the City widened to four lanes in the 50’s to 70’s (eg, Bronson, Merivale south of Carling, etc).

Are other readers out there familiar with traffic counts that show traffic volume declines? I think it would be easy to find relative declines, ie traffic not growing as fast as population grows, but since roads are catering to current demand, those don’t count (for now). Let’s focus on finding examples of roads that show declining traffic counts.


Alas, pointing me to a mass of city data on the subject won’t help, I am too innumerate, I wouldn’t trust myself to get it right. I’d love to hear from our more numerate brethren, preferably who are also familiar with traffic stats.

One thought on “Traffic in decline? some examples

  1. One of the goals of the Ottawa 20/20 plan is specifically to reduce auto use. It seems odd that they would then be widening roads or increasing roads. Contradictory even.

Comments are closed.