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Properties of Dynamic Traffic Equilibrium Involving Bottlenecks, Including A Paradox and Metering

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Abstract

D. Braess and others have shown that creating a new link in a congested network, or adding capacity to an existing link, can raise total travel costs if drivers switch routes. Here we show that a paradox can also result when routes are fixed, but users choose when to travel. As is true of the Braess paradox, the paradox here arises when the inefficiency due to underpricing of congestion increases by more than the direct benefit of the new capacity. For a corridor with two groups of drivers, we show that expanding capacity of an upstream bottleneck raises travel costs when the reduction in congestion upstream is more than offset by increased congestion downstream. Metering can thus improve efficiency. Optimal capacity for an upstream bottleneck is equal to, or smaller than, optimal capacity downstream. Total construction costs equal total variable travel costs when capacities are optimal and construction costs are independent of scale.
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  • Arnott, R. & De Palma, A. & Lindsey, R., 1992. "Properties of Dynamic Traffic Equilibrium Involving Bottlenecks, Including A Paradox and Metering," Papers 9201, Universite Libre de Bruxelles - C.E.M.E..
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:ulbeme:9201
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    Cited by:

    1. Konrad, Kai A., 2003. "Mobilität in mehrstufigen Ausbildungsturnieren
      [Mobility in Multi-Stage Education Systems]
      ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2003-30, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    2. Terry E. Daniel & Eyran J. Gisches & Amnon Rapoport, 2009. "Departure Times in Y-Shaped Traffic Networks with Multiple Bottlenecks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2149-2176, December.
    3. Shanjiang Zhu & David Levinson & Henry Liu, 2017. "Measuring winners and losers from the new I-35W Mississippi River Bridge," Transportation, Springer, vol. 44(5), pages 905-918, September.
    4. Laurent Denant-Boemont & Sabrina Hammiche, 2009. "Public Transit Capacity and Users Choice: AnExperiment on Downs-Thomson Paradox," Working Papers halshs-00405501, HAL.
    5. Xiaoning Zhang & H. Zhang, 2010. "Simultaneous Departure Time/Route Choices in Queuing Networks and a Novel Paradox," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 93-112, March.
    6. André De Palma & Mogens Fosgerau, 2010. "Dynamic and Static congestion models: A review," Working Papers hal-00539166, HAL.
    7. Richard Arnott, 1997. "Congestion Tolling and Urban Spatial Structure," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 389., Boston College Department of Economics.
    8. Li, Chuan-Yao & Huang, Hai-Jun, 2017. "Morning commute in a single-entry traffic corridor with early and late arrivals," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 23-49.

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    Keywords

    economic models ; travel ; costs;

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