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Road Capacity and the Allocation of Time

  • David Levinson

    ()

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

  • Seshasai Kanchi

Additional highway capacity, by increasing travel speed, affects the individual share of time within a 24-hour budget allocated to various activities (time spent at and traveling to home, shop, work and other). Some activities will be undertaken more, others less. This paper extends previous research that identified and quantified induced demand in terms of vehicle miles traveled, by considering what type of demand is induced and which activities are consequently reduced, using the 1990 and 1995 Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey and Federal Highway Administration highway statistics data. While total travel times have not seen any significant change between the years 1990 and 1995, there is a significant change in activity durations. Further, as a result of additional capacity, workers spend less time traveling. Workers also spend more time at home and other activities and less at work and shop. Non-workers, in contrast, travel more, and spend more time shopping and at home, but less time at other activities. This points out the differences in discretionary and non-discretionary activities for workers and non-workers. It also suggests that there are real gains from capacity in people's lives, at least in the short term, as it is time, and not VMT, that individuals base decisions on.

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File URL: http://nexus.umn.edu/Papers/RoadCapacity.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 200203.

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Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Transportation and Statistics 5(1) pp 25-46.
Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:roadcapacity
Contact details of provider: Postal: Dept. of Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: +01 (612) 625-6354
Fax: +01 (612) 626-7750
Web page: http://nexus.umn.edu
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  1. Lothlorien Redmond & Patricia Mokhtarian, 2001. "The positive utility of the commute: modeling ideal commute time and relative desired commute amount," Transportation, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 179-205, May.
  2. David Levinson & Ajay Kumar, 1994. "The Rational Locator: Why Travel Times Have Remained Stable," Working Papers 199402, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  3. Robert Noland & William Cowart, 2000. "Analysis of Metropolitan Highway Capacity and the growth in vehicle miles of travel," Transportation, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 363-390, December.
  4. Small, Kenneth A, 1982. "The Scheduling of Consumer Activities: Work Trips," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 467-79, June.
  5. Hansen, Mark & Huang, Yuanlin, 1997. "Road supply and traffic in California urban areas," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 205-218, May.
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