Suncoast Parkway extension will not bring economic boon

Dan DeWitt writes a column in the Tampa Bay Times arguing the “Suncoast Parkway extension will not bring economic boon“. I don’t have strong opinions about the particular facility in question, but I was interviewed more generally, following up on our 2013 study in Minnesota: Case Studies of Transportation Investment to Identify the Impacts on the Local and State Economy. DeWitt writes:

The study, after accounting for factors such as the ups and downs of the larger economy, found that “none of the industries studied . . . show statistically significant increases in earnings.”

We’ve got roads going pretty much every place we want to go, said one of the researchers, David Levinson, professor of civil engineering. Building new ones or improving existing ones will save less time for fewer people than, say, the first generation of circle freeways.

By comparison, a toll road in Maryland has been labeled “not successful” because it only attracts about 50,000 trips per day, Levinson said. “So 5,000, I guess, would be very not successful.”

(actually 40K) [See  TollRoadNews: Maryland’s Inter County Connector MD200 has solid 40k ADT traffic, $40m/year tolls after two years operation, WaPo: Maryland says ICC traffic growing, Baltimore Sun: Blame the ICC, failed leadership for massive toll increase]