IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Road supply and traffic in California urban areas


  • Hansen, Mark
  • Huang, Yuanlin


We estimate relationships between the supply of state highways, measured in lane-miles, and the quantity of traffic, measured in vehicle-miles traveled, for urban counties and metropolitan areas in the state of California. The analysis employs a panel data set of annual observations for the years 1973 to 1990. We estimate several versions of a log-linear model including fixed regional and time period effects. Our main concern is with models of state highway (as opposed to total) vehicle-miles traveled. By using two types of models designed to capture long-term effects, we estimate that state highway vehicle-miles traveled has a lanemile elasticity of 0.6-0.7 at the county level and 0.9 at the metropolitan level, and that the full impact of vehicle-miles traveled materializes within five years of the change in road supply. We also consider limited data on off-state highway vehicle-miles traveled, and find no conclusive evidence that increases in state highway lane-miles have affected traffic on other roads. Population, income, and gasoline price elasticities are also discussed. We find that, even when all these factors are accounted for, there has been a sharp increase in the propensity towards vehicle travel over the period of study, particularly during the late 1980s.

Suggested Citation

  • Hansen, Mark & Huang, Yuanlin, 1997. "Road supply and traffic in California urban areas," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 205-218, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:31:y:1997:i:3:p:205-218

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:31:y:1997:i:3:p:205-218. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.