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The Stability of Downtown Parking and Traffic Congestion

  • Arnott, Richard
  • Inci, Eren

In classical traffic flow theory, there are two velocities associated with a given level of traffic flow. Following Vickrey, economists have termed travel at the higher speed congested travel and at the lower speed hypercongested travel. Since the publication of Walters' classic paper (1961, Econometrica 29, 676-699), there has been an on-going debate concerning whether a steady-state hypercongested equilibrium can be stable. For a particular structural model of downtown traffic flow and parking, this paper demonstrates that a steady-state hypercongested equilibrium can be stable. Some other sensible models of traffic congestion conclude that steady-state hypercongested travel cannot be stable, and that queues develop to ration the demand in steady states. Thus, we interpret our result to imply that, when steady-state demand is so high that it cannot be rationed through congested travel, the trip price increase necessary to ration the demand may be generated either through the formation of steady-state queues or through hypercongested travel, and that which mechanism occurs depends on details of the traffic system.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11786.

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Date of creation: 27 Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11786
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  1. Richard Arnott & John Rowse, 2007. "Downtown Parking in Auto City," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 665, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Erik Verhoef, 1997. "Time, Speeds, Flows and Densities in Static Models of Road Traffic Congestion and Congestion Pricing," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-070/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Daganzo, C. F. & Cassidy, M. J. & Bertini, R. L., 1999. "Possible explanations of phase transitions in highway traffic," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 365-379, June.
  4. Lo, Hong K. & Szeto, W.Y., 2005. "Road pricing modeling for hyper-congestion," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(7-9), pages 705-722.
  5. Richard Arnott, 2005. "Spatial Competition between Parking Garages and Downtown Parking Policy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 627, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Small, K.A. & Chu, X., 1997. "Hypercongestion," Papers 97-98-12, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  7. Arnott, Richard & Inci, Eren, 2006. "An integrated model of downtown parking and traffic congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 418-442, November.
  8. Verhoef, Erik T., 2003. "Inside the queue:: hypercongestion and road pricing in a continuous time-continuous place model of traffic congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 531-565, November.
  9. Geroliminis, Nikolas & Daganzo, Carlos F., 2008. "Existence of urban-scale macroscopic fundamental diagrams: Some experimental findings," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 759-770, November.
  10. Small, Kenneth A. & Gomez-Ibanez, Jose A., 1999. "Urban transportation," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 1937-1999 Elsevier.
  11. Chu Xuehao, 1995. "Endogenous Trip Scheduling: The Henderson Approach Reformulated and Compared with the Vickrey Approach," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 324-343, May.
  12. Henderson, J. Vernon, 1981. "The economics of staggered work hours," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 349-364, May.
  13. Richard Arnott & John Rowse, 1997. "Modeling Parking," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 350., Boston College Department of Economics.
  14. Erik T. Verhoef, 2003. "Speed-Flow Relations and Cost Functions for Congested Traffic: Theory and Empirical Analysis," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-064/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 31 Oct 2003.
  15. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-60, May.
  16. Verhoef, Erik T., 2001. "An Integrated Dynamic Model of Road Traffic Congestion Based on Simple Car-Following Theory: Exploring Hypercongestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 505-542, May.
  17. Daganzo, Carlos F., 2002. "A behavioral theory of multi-lane traffic flow. Part II: Merges and the onset of congestion," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 159-169, February.
  18. Dewees, Donald N, 1979. "Estimating the Time Costs of Highway Congestion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1499-1512, November.
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