IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Critical Transport Infrastructure in Urban Areas: Impacts of Traffic Incidents Assessed Using Accessibility-Based Network Vulnerability Analysis

Listed author(s):
Registered author(s):

    Incidents (vehicle breakdowns, crashes, roadworks, lane blockages, severe weather, etc.) are believed responsible for about 50 percent of traffic congestion in Australia's major cities, which is a similar situation to that found in cities in many other parts of the developed world. Incident-based congestion is particularly disruptive because of its random occurrence in space and time, which maximises the operational impacts of the congestion on social and economic activities. This paper discusses a method for assessing critical locations-congestion "hot spots"-in urban road networks, and the development and application of diagnostic tools that will allow urban road system managers to anticipate potential vulnerabilities to incident-related congestion and take proactive action to avoid congestion rather than react to it. The expected outcomes are then reduced congestion, delays, and pollution; significantly improved performance from the existing urban road system; and reduced pressure to build more roads. The method involves modelling of travel demand, network topology, capacity and road geometry, the identification and assessment of impacts of traffic incidents at specific locations in a road network, and the use of accessibility impact analysis to assess system-wide effects. Accessibility impact analysis is undertaken using an accessibility framework, which can account for time of day, transport mode and destination choices by individuals, and level of traffic congestion among other factors. A case-study application to a specific (potential) incident in a real-world network indicates that the proposed method is feasible and demonstrates its power in identifying not just total impacts but the distribution of those impacts across a region or community. While current approaches to urban road network planning and management tend to be reactive-finding cures for problems as they arise or addressing locations of recurrent congestion or bad incident record-the vulnerability analysis method described in the paper should lend itself to a proactive approach that can anticipate structural weaknesses and vulnerabilities and help to avoid or at least temper potential adverse effects, rather than to react to them afterwards. Copyright (c) 2008 Copyright the Author. Journal compilation (c) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

    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:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Growth and Change.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 593-616

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:39:y:2008:i:4:p:593-616
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

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

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:39:y:2008:i:4:p:593-616. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.