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The minimum circuity frontier and the journey to work

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  • Levinson, David
  • El-Geneidy, Ahmed

Abstract

People travel between places of residence and work destinations via transportation networks. The relation between selection of home and work locations has been heavily debated in the transportation planning literature. In this paper we use circuity, the ratio of network to Euclidean distance, to better understand the choice of residential location relative to work. This is done using two methods of defining origins and destinations in twenty metropolitan regions in the United States, with more detailed analysis of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota and Portland, Oregon. The first method of selection is based on actual choice of residence and work locations. The second is based on a randomly selected dataset of origins and destinations in the same regions, followed by a comparison between the two methods for these regions. The study shows circuity measured through randomly selected origins and destinations differs from circuity measured from actual origins and destinations. Workers tend to reside in areas such that the journey to work circuity is lower than random, applying intelligence to their location decisions. Consistent with traditional urban economic theory, this suggests locators wish to locate on the frontier with the largest residential lot at the shortest commute time, but in contrast with the classic model which simplifies transportation networks to be uniform, we cannot assume that all possible home-work pairs are on the frontier. This finding, developed from microscopic data not previously used for this question, reveals an important issue related to residence choice and location theory and how resident workers tend to locate with respect to network configuration in an urban context.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 39 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 732-738

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:39:y:2009:i:6:p:732-738

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/regec

Related research

Keywords: Network structure Travel behavior Transport geography Commuting Circuity Directness;

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References

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  1. Robert F. Love & James G. Morris, 1979. "Mathematical Models of Road Travel Distances," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(2), pages 130-139, February.
  2. Lothlorien Redmond & Patricia Mokhtarian, 2001. "The positive utility of the commute: modeling ideal commute time and relative desired commute amount," Transportation, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 179-205, May.
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  4. Samaniego, Horacio & Moses, Melanie E., 2008. "Cities as Organisms: Allometric Scaling of Urban Road Networks," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 1(1), pages 21-39.
  5. Small, Kenneth A. & Song, Shunfeng, 1992. ""Wasteful" Commuting: A Resolution," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5142n2ts, University of California Transportation Center.
  6. Jos Van Ommeren, 2004. "The commuting distribution," ERSA conference papers ersa04p214, European Regional Science Association.
  7. Giuliano, Genevieve & Small, Kenneth A., 1993. "Is the Journey to Work Explained by Urban Structure?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2ss7x5b1, University of California Transportation Center.
  8. Wachs, Martin & Taylor, Brian D. & Levine, Ned & Ong, Paul, 1993. "The Changing Commute: A Case Study of the Jobs/Housing Relationship over Time," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt7424635r, University of California Transportation Center.
  9. Kim, Chansung, 2008. "Commuting time stability: A test of a co-location hypothesis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 524-544, March.
  10. Ballou, Ronald H. & Rahardja, Handoko & Sakai, Noriaki, 2002. "Selected country circuity factors for road travel distance estimation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 843-848, November.
  11. Giuliano, Genevieve, 1991. "Is Jobs-Housing Balance a Transportation Issue?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4874r4hg, University of California Transportation Center.
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Cited by:
  1. Surprenant-Legault, Julien & Patterson, Zachary & El-Geneidy, Ahmed M., 2013. "Commuting trade-offs and distance reduction in two-worker households," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 12-28.
  2. repec:asg:wpaper:1049 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. David Levinson, 2011. "Network Structure and City Size," Working Papers 000094, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  4. Elif Alkay, 2011. "In Depth Analysis of the Home to Work Travel Pattern in the Istanbul Metropolitan Area," ERSA conference papers ersa11p371, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Pavithra Parthasarathi & David Levinson, 2012. "Network structure and the journey to work: An intra-metropolitan analysis," Working Papers 000103, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.

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