The next time you are driving down the interstate, minding your own business, and you see a sign "lane ends 2000 feet", ask yourself "Why?".
If the traffic count was high enough before the change to justify three lanes, and there was no off-ramp, where did the cars go?
That's right; nowhere.
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There is never a good reason to change the number of lanes without an associated on-ramp or off-ramp.
This is important. It means that we are spending millions of dollars unnecessarily. Consider the situation where two lanes expand into three. This gives no extra capacity, as the total throughput is still limited by the bottleneck; that is, the total capacity is the same as if the entire distance had been two lanes.
The converse is true as well. If three lanes merge into two, there is no added benefit in terms of throughput of the portion that was three lanes.