Taylor on Post-Pandemic Traffic Patterns

Urban Planning Professor and Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies Brian Taylor spoke to the Los Angeles Times about changing traffic patterns in Los Angeles as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and life returns to a post-pandemic normal. The pandemic altered traffic and transit patterns, with many businesses transitioning to remote work. As the economy reopens, traffic levels have increased, but the next few months will signal how long-lasting the pandemic’s impact on traffic patterns will be. Vehicle travel is increasing in part because more businesses and activities are opening up, prompting people to drive more often and farther from home. Taylor explained that congestion is “spatially and temporally” structured, meaning that it occurs when many travelers are going to the same destination at the same time. “If we go back to pre-pandemic living and working patterns, driving and traffic levels are likely to be similar to before,” he said.

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