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City size, network structure and traffic congestion

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  • Tsekeris, Theodore
  • Geroliminis, Nikolas

Abstract

This paper presents an alternative approach for analyzing the relationship between land use and traffic congestion by employing the Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram (MFD). The MFD is an empirically observed relationship between traffic flow and traffic density at the level of an urban region, including hypercongestion, where flow decreases as density increases. This approach is consistent with the physics of traffic and allows the parsimonious modeling of intra-day traffic dynamics and their connection with city size, land use and network characteristics. The MFD can accurately measure the inefficiency of land and network resource allocation due to hypercongestion, in contrast with existing models of congestion. The findings reinforce the ‘compact city’ hypothesis, by favoring a larger mixed-use core area with greater zone width, block density and number of lanes, compared to the peripheral area. They also suggest a new set of policies, including the optimization of perimeter controls and the fraction of land for transport, which constitute robust second-best optimal strategies that can further reduce congestion externalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Tsekeris, Theodore & Geroliminis, Nikolas, 2013. "City size, network structure and traffic congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 1-14.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:76:y:2013:i:c:p:1-14
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2013.01.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Connors & David Watling, 2015. "Assessing the Demand Vulnerability of Equilibrium Traffic Networks via Network Aggregation," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 367-395, June.
    2. Badia, Hugo & Estrada, Miquel & Robusté, Francesc, 2016. "Bus network structure and mobility pattern: A monocentric analytical approach on a grid street layout," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 93(PA), pages 37-56.
    3. repec:eee:transb:v:102:y:2017:i:c:p:162-179 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Francisco De Lima Cavalcanti & Raul Da Mota Silveira Neto, 2016. "Creative Class, Human Capital And Urban Dynamism: Empirical Evidence For The Brazilian Cities," Anais do XLII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 42ndd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 160, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    5. Geroliminis, Nikolas, 2015. "Cruising-for-parking in congested cities with an MFD representation," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 156-165.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    City size; Land use; Transport network; Traffic congestion dynamics; Macroscopic fundamental diagram;

    JEL classification:

    • L9 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location
    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics

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