Induced Demand

Stop inducing vehicular demand by eliminating Level of Service.


To deal with growing auto congestion, American cities and counties have widened roads and marginalized pedestrians and cyclists. The result of this seemingly intuitive response? Even more congestion, fed by a combination of people’s rational response to efforts to make driving easier and corresponding degradation of conditions for other modes (move further out, drive more, and make walking and biking activities for leisure time, if ever). At the heart of this self-defeating cycle is a deeply flawed transportation analysis methodology called Level of Service (LOS). It suffers from a range of problems, from fundamental issues like its exclusive focus on vehicle movement to the myopic way the methodology is often applied. Logically, mitigating a poor LOS rating often means adding capacity, feeding the cycle outlined above. This Pattern includes:

  •      A Fool’s Errand
  •      How We Currently Measure Transport
  •      Alternatives to LOS
  •      Person Throughput by Mode


David Fields

Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, Inc.

Joshua Karlin-Resnick

Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, Inc.


Residential Vehicle Trips

Nonresidential Vehicle Trips

Neighborhood Dreams