Now, traffic, as much as it might feel otherwise, is something of a good sign. It shows that people are busy, getting to work, going to school, and running errands. It is a sign of growth and of an active economy. That said, there's a point where simply using roads just doesn't make sense any more. In many cases throughout the metro, roads are already as wide as they can get before we start tearing into businesses and homes. So, what do we do if we physically can't handle more cars?
The answer is to look at the problem differently. Are we trying to move cars, or people? The answer should be obvious: people. The point of a transportation system is not to necessarily move the most of a certain type of vehicle, but rather to attempt to handle the volume of people trying to get around. To that end, the answer to increasing the capacity of built-out roads, is to use a method of moving people that is more space-efficient than a car.
This, is where transit comes in. Even adding a simple, mixed-traffic frequent bus line to a road has the potential to double its capacity of moving people. When we start looking at dedicating lanes for transit use, the capacity grows even more. These are simple, even relatively inexpensive methods of getting more mileage, as it were, out of a seemingly full road.
As Gwinnett, and the metro, continues to grow, there will be ever fewer opportunities to expand our existing roads to accommodate everyone in cars, but with expanded transit services coupled with other modern road designs, we can keep people moving even as we swell.
For those corridors needing even more service than frequent service and/or dedicate lanes, we can look into truly high-capacity transit, by dedicating area for fully separated transitways, making use of existing rail corridors, and by even burying transit in tunnels or lifting it up into aerial structures. Even these, though they may seem cumbersome at first, can move far more people than if the equivalent amount of land were solely dedicated to cars.