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




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..

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  • Michael A. P. Taylor, 2008. "Critical Transport Infrastructure in Urban Areas: Impacts of Traffic Incidents Assessed Using Accessibility-Based Network Vulnerability Analysis," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 593-616.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:39:y:2008:i:4:p:593-616

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Berdica, Katja, 2002. "An introduction to road vulnerability: what has been done, is done and should be done," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 117-127, April.
    2. Jenelius, Erik & Petersen, Tom & Mattsson, Lars-Göran, 2006. "Importance and exposure in road network vulnerability analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 537-560, August.
    3. Weibull, Jorgen W., 1976. "An axiomatic approach to the measurement of accessibility," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 357-379, December.
    4. Hall, Randolph W., 2002. "Incident dispatching, clearance and delay," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 1-16, January.
    5. Michael Taylor & Somenahalli Sekhar & Glen D'Este, 2006. "Application of Accessibility Based Methods for Vulnerability Analysis of Strategic Road Networks," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 267-291, September.
    6. 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.
    7. Anthony Chen & Chao Yang & Sirisak Kongsomsaksakul & Ming Lee, 2007. "Network-based Accessibility Measures for Vulnerability Analysis of Degradable Transportation Networks," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 241-256, September.
    8. S L Handy & D A Niemeier, 1997. "Measuring Accessibility: An Exploration of Issues and Alternatives," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 29(7), pages 1175-1194, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matisziw, T.C. & Grubesic, T.H., 2010. "Evaluating locational accessibility to the US air transportation system," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 710-722, November.
    2. Paramet Luathep & Agachai Sumalee & H. Ho & Fumitaka Kurauchi, 2011. "Large-scale road network vulnerability analysis: a sensitivity analysis based approach," Transportation, Springer, vol. 38(5), pages 799-817, September.
    3. Taylor, Michael A.P. & Susilawati,, 2012. "Remoteness and accessibility in the vulnerability analysis of regional road networks," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 761-771.

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