How Can This Be a Good Idea?

RECEIVED Wed., May 18, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Those of us living near Capital Plaza have recently been informed of an exciting new feature in our area called “the jughandle.” According to the flier, the jughandle is part of how TxDOT and Catellus plan “to accommodate additional traffic, while improving conditions on the existing roads.”
    Sounds exciting! However, I don't quite understand the logic. The plan involves building a maze of roads next to the northbound access road leading to Cameron Road, then diverting all traffic off the access road and into the maze.
    It makes sense that additional traffic can be accommodated by increasing the surface area of a road. But doesn't it work better when the road is made wider rather than longer?
    And I guess conditions on the existing roads could be improved by disallowing traffic completely. But isn't the whole problem with traffic congestion that people actually want to go places?
    I would love it if someone could explain to me how this jughandle could be a good idea.
Deborah J. Miller
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