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Hypercongestion

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  • Kenneth A. Small
  • Xuehao Chu

Abstract

The standard economic model for analysing traffic congestion incorporates a relationship between speed and traffic flow. Empirical measurements indicate a region, known as hypercongestion, in which speed increases with flow. We argue that this relationship is unsuitable as a supply curve for equilibrium analysis because observed hypercongestion occurs as a response to transient demand fluctuations. We then present tractable models for handling such fluctuations, both for a straight uniform highway and for a dense street network such as in a central business district (CBD). For the CBD model, we consider both exogenous and endogenous time patterns for demand, and we make use of an empirical speed-density relationship for Dallas, Texas, to characterise hypercongested conditions. The CBD model is adaptable to any situation where accumulation of work to be processed becomes such a hindrance as to reduce outflow. © The London School of Economics and the University of Bath 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth A. Small & Xuehao Chu, 2003. "Hypercongestion," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 37(3), pages 319-352, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpe:jtecpo:v:37:y:2003:i:3:p:319-352
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Arnott, Richard & Inci, Eren, 2010. "The stability of downtown parking and traffic congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, pages 260-276.
    2. Ian W.H. Parry, 2009. "Pricing Urban Congestion," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 461-484, September.
    3. Richard Arnott, 1997. "Congestion Tolling and Urban Spatial Structure," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 389., Boston College Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis

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