Suggestions for traffic

Traffic and cars need a do-over. This became particularly apparent when bureaucracy got added to the game. Hybrid and electric car policies continue to be necessary after the electric cars trasition is complete or else electric car transition will back slide. Additionally, losing the direct environmental boosts from these will result in ecological disaster.

Point 1: no policy related to cars should produce a direct environmental benefit, instead it should reduce the environmental harm of cars.

Point 2: traffic congestion should carry a portion of the environmental damage from cars. Engines running at low load produce worse emissions than engines running as intended. Traffic congestion should also carry most of the inputs to respiratory disease and obesity.

Point 3: electric car transition should have a self sustaining input. I don’t if you could program this (Cliff, if you only answer one point here, please tell me if this one is possible to program), but this condition should input to itself. Low levels of electric car transition should decrease itself. At high levels it should increase itself. This would reflect the difficulty of a new technology breaking into an established market. On the flip side, if EVs have so thoroughly taken over that petrol tax is producing zero income, therefore the petrol stations have gone out of business, technology should not back slide if I end the subsidies for EVs.

That concludes my points on the environmental imact of cars, now for what causes people to drive

Point 4: “If you build it they will come” is a fallacy. In game, if I build more roads for the reduction to traffic congestion, then my citizens see a road and drive on it more because it exists causing even more congestion. Many people believe this is how real life works, typically people who hold this belief haven’t travelled much.

Point 5: Transit pressure. People don’t drive in congested city traffic just for the fun of it, they do so because they have somewhere to be. A good change was made with “immigration pressure” being added to the game, we now need “transit pressure”. The main input to transit pressure should be GDP, at least for now. Transit pressue would drive all forms of transportation, but individuals don’t have the capacity to personally schedule the bus or build a monorail. The only things an individual can do is purchase a ticket if mass transit exists, or drive a car. Therefore, car usage is what people should turn to IF the player has not provided any other means. The PC to increase road building should be much cheaper, and the benefits should come faster. This way “just build more roads” is the quick and dirty way to fix congestion, but doesn’t solve the most problems. Development of better transit infrastructure should have such slow inertia that there will usually be another election before it really provides benefit. This way the player who is uncertain of the next election is tempted to go for the quick solution of road building, much like the real world.


Lets’s see:

  • Point 1, No problem
  • Point 2, the envirommental damage for linked to traffinc congestion is only true in modern cars, in older ones it barely matters at which speed you are moving. As for the link with obesity for what we know car use is linked with obesity in all cases but one, living in a rural area, for the rest of the cases it doesn’t depent too much in traffic congestion.
  • Point 3, making something out of busines with regulations doesn’t mean that it can’t come back if regulations are reduced.
  • Point 4, Big nope, it even has it’s own name, it’s called the Downs-Thompson paradox, and if you don’t believe it just ask people in Los Ángeles, that for some reason they keep it’s highways congested despite adding more lanes.
  • Point 5, can be a good idea if well implemented.

Regarding point 4, it’s a matter of ratio, how much transit development relative to other development. If more people need to move than the roads have capacity for then the roads clog. If the road capacity is adequate to the number of people who need to move then traffic moves even at rush hour. I’ll use Edmonton as an example, even at rush hour I can get around that city in a reasonable amount of time. Sure, it has some pinch points, but in general the traffic moves. If L.A. continues to have congestion despite building roads, then they are building things other than roads too, and increasing traffic pressure as fast or faster then they are increasing capacity. When capacity meets demand traffic does not congest.


I think we are saying a similar thing, building roads is not going to cause a congestion problem if you didn’t have it in the start, but building roads as your only mean of solving traffic isues it’s going to fail.


I believe Point 1 is a problem because the cars themselves are the problem, you can’t fix the environment itself if it isn’t applied to cars, you need to fix what causes the problem.