Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Congestion And Accessibility: What’S The Relationship?


Author Info

  • Mondschein, Andrew
  • Taylor, Brian D
  • Brumbaugh, Stephen
Registered author(s):


    This project conceptually and empirically explores the complex relationship between congestion and accessibility. While congestion alters individual access to opportunities, its effects vary significantly across people, places, and time - variations that remain relatively understudied. This report begins by proposing a conceptual framework with three components. First, congestion can constrain mobility and thus indirectly reduce accessibility. Second, congestion is associated with agglomerations of activity and with increased accessibility. Finally, congestion is in part a phenomenon of perception and behavior, cognitively altering an individual’s choice set of destinations and altering actual access to opportunities. Congestion and individual travel data for the Los Angeles region are used to explore the localized spatial relationship between congestion and accessibility. As our multifaceted framework suggests, congestion does not have a uniform effect on accessibility, but varies substantially by neighborhood. Our analysis finds that in some neighborhoods congestion appears to be associated with depressed levels of access, as conventional wisdom would suggest. Other neighborhoods, however, appear to be more “congestion adapted,†allowing high levels of activity participation despite high levels of congestion. To account for personal characteristics such as income that may influence the spatial analysis, we construct a model of the number of daily trips as a function of an array of personal and household characteristics. Residuals from the model suggest that place-­â€based neighborhood effects explain the relatively higher levels of travel by residents found in the “congestion adapted†neighborhoods.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of California Transportation Center in its series University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers with number qt8135b0jh.

    as in new window
    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt8135b0jh

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: 109 McLaughlin Hall, Mail Code 1720, Berkeley, CA 94720-1720
    Phone: 510-642-3585
    Fax: 510-643-3955
    Web page:
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: accessibility; congestion; travel behavior; Social and Behavioral Sciences;


    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Fujita,Masahisa & Thisse,Jacques-François, 2013. "Economics of Agglomeration," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521171960, 9.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 9733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Redmond, Lothlorien S. & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2001. "The Positive Utility of the Commute: Modeling Ideal Commute Time and Relative Desired Commute Amount," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4mc291p2, University of California Transportation Center.
    4. Levine, Jonathan & Garb, Yaakov, 2002. "Congestion pricing's conditional promise: promotion of accessibility or mobility?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 179-188, July.
    5. Richard Arnott & Alex Anas & Kenneth Small, 1997. "Urban Spatial Structure," Boston College Working Papers in Economics, Boston College Department of Economics 388., Boston College Department of Economics.
    6. Taylor, Brian D., 2004. "The politics of congestion mitigation," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 299-302, July.
    7. S L Handy & D A Niemeier, 1997. "Measuring accessibility: an exploration of issues and alternatives," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 29(7), pages 1175-1194, July.
    8. Eiji Kawamoto, 2003. "Transferability of standardized regres Person-based approach sion model applied to person-based trip generation," Transportation Planning and Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(4), pages 331-359, August.
    9. Paul Anderson & David Levinson & Pavithra Parthasarathi, 2011. "Accessibility Futures," Working Papers, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group 000088, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    10. Schönfelder, Stefan & Axhausen, Kay W., 2003. "Activity spaces: measures of social exclusion?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 273-286, October.
    11. Wachs, Martin & Kumagai, T. Gordon, 1973. "Physical accessibility as a social indicator," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 437-456, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)



    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt8135b0jh. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.