New Year’s Resolution: Honest Traffic Forecasts

Via Sightline:

No, that’s not my resolution, it’s one I’m proposing for Federal and State DOTs.

The State Smart Transportation Initiative has looked at 61 years of traffic forecasts and found that in all 61 cases, actual VMT was less than the forecast. This graph makes the case for reforming the forecasting process in the starkest terms possible:

VMT-C-P-chart-big1-541x550

Locally, we know that ODOT has done the same with projections for the Columbia River Crossing, sticking to a curve with a slope that’s been been demonstrated to be wrong each year since the projection was made (even before the projection was included in the EIS for the project).

So how about it, DOTs? For 2014 can we all resolve to acknowledge reality in our forecasting?

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