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A Model of the Rise and Fall of Roads

Author

Listed:
  • Lei Zhang
  • David Levinson

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

Abstract

Transportation network planning decisions made at one point of time can have profound impacts in the future. However, transportation networks are usually assumed to be static in models of land use. A better understanding of the natural growth pattern of roads will provide valuable guidance to planners who try to shape the future network. This paper analyzes the relationships between network supply and travel demand, and describes a road development and degeneration mechanism microscopically at the link level. A simulation model of transportation network dynamics is developed, involving iterative evolution of travel demand patterns, network revenue policies, cost estimation,and investment rules. The model is applied to a real-world congesting network – the Twin Cities transportation network which comprises nearly 8,000 nodes and more than 20,000 links, using network data collected since year 1978. Four experiments are carried out with different initial conditions and constraints, the results from which allow us to explore model properties such as computational feasibility, qualitative implications, potential calibration procedures, and predictive value. The hypothesis that road hierarchies are emergent properties of transportation networks is confirmed, and the underlying reasons discovered. Spatial distribution of capacity, traffic flow, and congestion in the transportation network is tracked over time. Potential improvements to the model in particular and future research directions in transportation network dynamics in general are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2004. "A Model of the Rise and Fall of Roads," Working Papers 000057, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:riseandfallofroads
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11299/180072
    File Function: First version, 2007
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transportation network dynamics; Urban planning; Road supply;

    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
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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