We have long known that residents of smart-growth neighborhoods – those with central locations, walkable streets, nonsprawling densities, and a good mix of shops and amenities –drive significantly less than do residents of spread-out suburban subdivisions. But, writing in his blog hosted by Planetizen, Todd Litman reports on a new Arizona study that found that those attributes can reduce local congestion as well:
[The study] found that roadways in more compact, mixed, multi-modal communities tend to be less congested. This results from the lower vehicle trip generation, particularly for local errands, more walking and public transit travel, and because the more connected street networks offer more route options so traffic is less concentrated on a few urban arterials. This contradicts our earlier assumptions.