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Tradeoffs among Free-flow Speed, Capacity, Cost, and Environmental Footprint in Highway Design

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Author Info

  • Chen Feng Ng

    ()
    (Department of Economics, California State University at Long Beach)

  • Kenneth Small

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

Abstract

This paper investigates differentiated design standards as a source of capacity additions that are more affordable and have smaller aesthetic and environmental impacts than expressways. We consider several tradeoffs, including narrow versus wide lanes and shoulders on an expressway of a given total width, and high-speed expressway versus lower-speed arterial. We quantify the situations in which off-peak traffic is sufficiently great to make it worthwhile to spend more on construction, or to give up some capacity, in order to provide very high off-peak speeds even if peak speeds are limited by congestion. We also consider the implications of differing accident rates. The results support expanding the range of highway designs that are considered when adding capacity to ameliorate urban road congestion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 080904.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:080904

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Postal: Irvine, CA 92697-3125
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Web page: http://www.economics.uci.edu/
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Keywords: Highway design; Capacity; Free-flow speed; Parkway;

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  1. Ronghui Liu & James Tate, 2004. "Network effects of intelligent speed adaptation systems," Transportation, Springer, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 297-325, August.
  2. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
  3. Cassidy, Michael J. & Bertini, Robert L., 1999. "Some traffic features at freeway bottlenecks," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 25-42, February.
  4. Cassidy, Michael J. & Rudjanakanoknad, Jittichai, 2005. "Increasing the capacity of an isolated merge by metering its on-ramp," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 896-913, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Robin Lindsey & André De Palma, 2013. "Cost Recovery from Congestion Tolls with Long-run Uncertainty," Working Papers, HAL hal-00784299, HAL.
  2. Duranton, Gilles & Turner, Matthew A, 2009. "The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US cities," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 7462, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Clifford Winston, 2013. "On the Performance of the U.S. Transportation System: Caution Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 773-824, September.
  4. Kenneth Small & Chen Feng Ng, 2013. "Optimizing Road Capacity and Type," Working Papers, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics 121309, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.

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