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Operational Evidence of Changing Travel Patterns

Author

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  • David Levinson

    () (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

  • Ajay Kumar

Abstract

This paper utilizes a traffic counts database covering a ten year period (1976-1985) to identify travel trends for Montgomery County, a suburb of Washington D.C. Generally, travel behavior is analyzed using person based travel survey data. The use of traffic counts to understand travel behavior is a relatively new approach. Unlike household surveys, which are typically characterized by respondent and sample bias, and require special effort for their collection, traffic counts are routinely collected by Departments of Transportation and provide the best available measure of observed traffic volumes. The study provides fresh evidence to support some of the earlier findings: an increase in lateral commuting as a share of travel, changes in work and non-work trip proportions, and increase in peak spreading. An interesting result in this paper relates to a more pronounced directionality in radial as compared with lateral trips. The relative symmetry of traffic flows along lateral routes compared with radial routes results in better utilization of the suburban road network. Non-work trips emerge as the more elastic trips, shifting to off-peak hours with an increase in congestion.

Suggested Citation

  • David Levinson & Ajay Kumar, 1994. "Operational Evidence of Changing Travel Patterns," Working Papers 199403, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:operationalevidence
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11299/179847
    File Function: First version, 2007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Levinson & Ajay Kumar, 1994. "The Rational Locator: Why Travel Times Have Remained Stable," Working Papers 199402, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David Levinson, 1997. "The Limits to Growth Management," Working Papers 199706, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    2. Levinson, David & Zhang, Lei, 2006. "Ramp meters on trial: Evidence from the Twin Cities metering holiday," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 810-828, December.
    3. David Levinson & Ajay Kumar, 1995. "Activity, Travel, and the Allocation of Time," Working Papers 199505, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    4. Ajay Kumar & David Levinson, 1994. "Specifying, Estimating and Validating a New Trip Generation Model: Case Study in Montgomery County, Maryland," Working Papers 199401, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    5. David Levinson, 1998. "Accessibility and the Journey to Work," Working Papers 199802, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.

    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
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning

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