Tradeoffs among free-flow speed, capacity, cost, and environmental footprint in highway design.(Report) Ng, Chen Feng; Small, Kenneth A

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Ng, Chen Feng ; Small, Kenneth A
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Traffic congestion -- Environmental aspects; Environmental aspects; Transportation industry
Byline: Chen Feng Ng (1), Kenneth A. Small (2) Keywords: Highway design; Capacity; Free-flow speed; Parkway Abstract: This paper investigates differentiated design standards as a source of capacity additions that are more affordable and have smaller aesthetic and environmental impacts than modern expressways. We consider several tradeoffs, including narrow versus wide lanes and shoulders on an expressway of a given total width, and high-speed expressway versus lower-speed arterial. We quantify the situations in which off-peak traffic is sufficiently great to make it worthwhile to spend more on construction, or to give up some capacity, in order to provide very high off-peak speeds even if peak speeds are limited by congestion. We also consider the implications of differing accident rates. The results support expanding the range of highway designs that are considered when adding capacity to ameliorate urban road congestion. Author Affiliation: (1) Department of Economics, California State University Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA, 90840-4607, USA (2) Department of Economics, 3151 Social Science Plaza, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA, 92697, USA Article History: Registration Date: 01/03/2012 Online Date: 12/04/2012 Article note: An earlier version was presented to Third Kuhmo-Nectar Conference, Amsterdam, July 2008 and at the poster session of the University of California Transportation Center--Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways Conference, November 2008. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi: 10.1007/s11116-012-9395-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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