Infographic: Traffic jams

“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 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.

Why Traffic Jams Happen width=
Via: Car Insurance Guide and Tom Vanderbilt.


  1. SO, Richard is selling out to the motoring lobby now, and blaming traffic jams on the poor cyclists! “the root causes of traffic jams, and one of them might be you.”

    OTOH, if cyclists are the root causes of traffic jams, how come they aren’t mentioned at all in the analysis that follows?

  2. I think bicycling and walking are great alternatives to driving, but both need to respect others on the road. Just as I get annoyed with bad drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians on the walking light, I have no sympathy for walkers and bike riders who think they can do whatever they want on sidewalks and the road. Respect is a two way street, literally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.