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Hypercongestion

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  • Kenneth A. Small
  • Xuehao Chu

Abstract

The standard economic model for analysing traffic congestion incorporates a relationship between speed and traffic flow. Empirical measurements indicate a region, known as hypercongestion, in which speed increases with flow. We argue that this relationship is unsuitable as a supply curve for equilibrium analysis because observed hypercongestion occurs as a response to transient demand fluctuations. We then present tractable models for handling such fluctuations, both for a straight uniform highway and for a dense street network such as in a central business district (CBD). For the CBD model, we consider both exogenous and endogenous time patterns for demand, and we make use of an empirical speed-density relationship for Dallas, Texas, to characterise hypercongested conditions. The CBD model is adaptable to any situation where accumulation of work to be processed becomes such a hindrance as to reduce outflow. © The London School of Economics and the University of Bath 2003

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics and University of Bath in its journal Journal of Transport Economics and Policy.

Volume (Year): 37 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 319-352

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Handle: RePEc:tpe:jtecpo:v:37:y:2003:i:3:p:319-352

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Web page: http://www.bath.ac.uk/e-journals/jtep

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  1. Chu Xuehao, 1995. "Endogenous Trip Scheduling: The Henderson Approach Reformulated and Compared with the Vickrey Approach," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 324-343, May.
  2. Small, Kenneth A, 1992. "Trip Scheduling in Urban Transportation Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 482-86, May.
  3. Mun, Se-il, 1994. "Traffic jams and the congestion toll," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 365-375, October.
  4. Kai Nagel & Steen Rasmussen, 1994. "Traffic at the Edge of Chaos," Working Papers 94-06-032, Santa Fe Institute.
  5. Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1993. "A Structural Model of Peak-Period Congestion: A Traffic Bottleneck with Elastic Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 161-79, March.
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  7. Arnott, Richard, 1990. "Signalized intersection queuing theory and central business district auto congestion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 197-201, June.
  8. Mills, David E, 1981. "Ownership Arrangements and Congestion-Prone Facilities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 493-502, June.
  9. De Meza, David & Gould, J R, 1987. "Free Access versus Private Property in a Resource: Income Distributions Compared," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1317-25, December.
  10. Fisk, Caroline, 1979. "More paradoxes in the equilibrium assignment problem," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 305-309, December.
  11. De Vany, Arthur & Saving, Thomas R, 1980. "Competition and Highway Pricing for Stochastic Traffic," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 45-60, January.
  12. Oakland, William H., 1972. "Congestion, public goods and welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 339-357, November.
  13. Dewees, Donald N, 1979. "Estimating the Time Costs of Highway Congestion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1499-1512, November.
  14. Evans, Alan W, 1992. "Road Congestion: The Diagrammatic Analysis: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 211-17, February.
  15. Berglas, Eitan & Pines, David, 1981. "Clubs, local public goods and transportation models : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 141-162, April.
  16. Mohring, Herbert, 1970. "The Peak Load Problem with Increasing Returns and Pricing Constraints," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(4), pages 693-705, September.
  17. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-60, May.
  18. Henderson, J. Vernon, 1981. "The economics of staggered work hours," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 349-364, May.
  19. Richard Arnott & Andre de Palma & Robin Lindsey, 1985. "Economics of a Bottleneck," Working Papers 636, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  20. Arnott, Richard, 1979. "Optimal city size in a spatial economy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 65-89, January.
  21. McDonald, John F. & d'Ouville, Edmond L., 1988. "Highway traffic flow and the uneconomic region of production," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 503-509, November.
  22. Small, Kenneth A, 1982. "The Scheduling of Consumer Activities: Work Trips," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 467-79, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Arnott, Richard & Inci, Eren, 2010. "The stability of downtown parking and traffic congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 260-276, November.
  2. Ian W.H. Parry, 2009. "Pricing Urban Congestion," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 461-484, 09.
  3. Richard Arnott, 1997. "Congestion Tolling and Urban Spatial Structure," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 389., Boston College Department of Economics.
  4. C. Robin Lindsey & Erik T. Verhoef, 1999. "Congestion Modelling," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-091/3, Tinbergen Institute.

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