Understanding Regional Effects of Travel Times in Switzerland and Germany 1970-2005
This study points out the effect of road infrastructure improvement between 1970 and 2005/06 and the resulting change of travel time in Germany and Switzerland. Reconsidering the interaction between the transportation system and land use, the paper contributes to the ongoing discussion about induced travel and infrastructure capacity. The impact of highway capacity expansion on land use has been studied worldwide focusing on urban areas. This study goes one step further. We detect changes in suburban and rural areas by this national comparison. The generation of a historical travel time dataset applies a method developed for Switzerland in previous studies and is adjusted for Germany according to its political, structural and topographical situation. The method is based on a historical network and estimated mean car speeds on different road types varying between densely or sparsely populated areas. Travel time matrices between all municipalities in Germany and Switzerland are calculated and validated by a regional comparison. Three indexes are developed to detect regional effects of travel time. The results are regionally segmented by a spatial cluster analyses named Getis-Ord's Gi* statistics. The spatial overview of the three travel time indexes takes into account the national and regional level. The historical travel time dataset is successfully validated. This useful data is needed for later investigation on commuting behaviour.
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