Traffic mitigation measures such as lane construction are counter-productive. They encourage people to use an automobile instead of using other transportation modes. These auto users do not remain in the area of the construction, but travel county-wide. While there is a temporary decrease in congestion in the area where the lane is constructed, congestion is increased in the county because the lane construction encourages auto use for those people traveling to, from or through the area of the new lane. In the constructed area, congestion will gradually return because the new lane influences people's decisions as to where they live and work. Usually in only a few years, congestion will equal the congestion prior to construction. Vehicle miles travelled and air pollution are increased, but mobility is not increased.
MTS believes in permanently decreasing or even eliminating traffic congestion in a way that benefits all transportation modes, including the auto user. This can only be accomplished by use of free market principles and full cost pricing to decrease the demand for auto use. To accomplish this goal, MTS has written the Free Market for Transportation Plan.
One of the goals of MTS is clean air. To further accomplish this goal, MTS urges that all existing County concepts for future HOV lanes (which are to construct more lanes) be abandoned and that all future HOV lanes be obtained only from currently existing lanes. Funds currently allocated for HOV lane construction should be reallocated for purposes that truly "reduce air pollution" [to quote T2010], especially electric guideway transit. The federal ISTEA legislation gives regions that latitude. MTS plans to join with others to challenge the clean air "benefit" of roadway capacity increases, regardless of HOV lane designation.