“Mathematicians have discovered some of the root causes of traffic jams, and one of them might be you,” says this traffic jam graphic from a car insurance company.
“Tragedy of the Commons” is listed as one of the theories in this infographic from CarInsurance.com. Demand is unrestrained on a free resource. That’s why merely building more highway lanes rarely solves congestion problems for more than a few months — demand increases to fill up the increased room, up to the point where demand can be squelched by the opportunity cost of sitting in traffic. That’s even assuming there’s room to build out the lanes and that you believe it’s okay to strip people of their property rights by seizing their land and demolishing their homes just so you can to work four minutes sooner.