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The Minimum Circuity Frontier and the Journey to Work

In an urban context people travel between places of residence and work destinations via transportation networks. Transportation studies that involve measurements of distances between residence and work locations tend to use Euclidean distances rather than Network distances. This is due to the historic difficulty in calculating network distances and based on assumptions that differences between Euclidean distance and network distance tend to be constant. This assumption is true only when variation in the network is minor and when self-selection is not present. In this paper we use circuity, the ratio of network to Euclidean distance, as a tool to better understand the choice of residential location relative to work. This is done using two methods of defining origins and destinations in the Twin Cities metropolitan region. The first method of selection is based on actual choice of residence and work locations. The second is based on a randomly selected dataset of origins and destinations in the same region. The findings of the study show circuity measured through randomly selected origins and destinations differ from circuity measured from actual origins and destinations. Workers tend to reside in areas where the circuity is lower, applying intelligence to their location decisions. We posit this because locators wish to achieve the largest residential lot at the shortest commute time. This finding reveals an important issue related to resident choice and location theory and how resident workers tend to locate in an urban context.

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File URL: http://nexus.umn.edu/Papers/Circuity.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 200905.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Regional Science and Urban Economics 39(6) 732Ð738
Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:circuity
Contact details of provider: Postal: Dept. of Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: +01 (612) 625-6354
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Web page: http://nexus.umn.edu

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  1. Giuliano, Genevieve & Small, Kenneth A., 1993. "Is the Journey to Work Explained by Urban Structure?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2ss7x5b1, University of California Transportation Center.
  2. Giuliano, Genevieve, 1991. "Is Jobs-Housing Balance a Transportation Issue?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4874r4hg, University of California Transportation Center.
  3. Cho, Eun Joo & Rodriguez, Daniel & Song, Yan, 2008. "The Role of Employment Subcenters in Residential Location Decisions," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 1(2), pages 121-151.
  4. Redmond, Lothlorien S. & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2001. "The Positive Utility of the Commute: Modeling Ideal Commute Time and Relative Desired Commute Amount," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4mc291p2, University of California Transportation Center.
  5. Small, Kenneth A & Song, Shunfeng, 1992. ""Wasteful" Commuting: A Resolution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 888-98, August.
  6. Kim, Chansung, 2008. "Commuting time stability: A test of a co-location hypothesis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 524-544, March.
  7. Ballou, Ronald H. & Rahardja, Handoko & Sakai, Noriaki, 2002. "Selected country circuity factors for road travel distance estimation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 843-848, November.
  8. Clark, William A. V. & Huang, Youqin & Withers, Suzanne, 2003. "Does commuting distance matter?: Commuting tolerance and residential change," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 199-221, March.
  9. Robert F. Love & James G. Morris, 1979. "Mathematical Models of Road Travel Distances," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(2), pages 130-139, February.
  10. Wachs, Martin & Taylor, Brian D. & Levine, Ned & Ong, Paul, 1993. "The Changing Commute: A Case Study of the Jobs/Housing Relationship over Time," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt7424635r, University of California Transportation Center.
  11. Mohammad R. Tayyaran & Ata M. Khan & Donald A. Anderson, 2003. "Impact of telecommuting and intelligent transportation systems on residential location choice," Transportation Planning and Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2), pages 171-193, April.
  12. Samaniego, Horacio & Moses, Melanie E., 2008. "Cities as Organisms: Allometric Scaling of Urban Road Networks," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 1(1), pages 21-39.
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