TRAFFIC OPERATION ON A ROAD NETWORK WITH RECURRENT CONGESTION
Free (open access)
233 - 243
ANDRÁS SZELE, LAJOS KISGYÖRGY
Congestion is the natural consequence of intensive use of a road network in developed urban areas and is among the most critical negative factors affecting urban quality of life. There are several types of congestion, but the real damage is done by recurrent congestion during rush hours. Road networks with recurrent congestion are found in urban-suburban areas where the traffic volume is high enough and the road network is sufficiently dense to speak of network congestion. This congestion is caused by urban growth and long-term handling of it is more a matter of traffic management, rather than road design. According to our research, traffic operations of road networks with recurrent congestion remarkably differ from the traffic of both the non-congested road networks and the supposed mode of operation of the network, during the planning process. Our results are based on wide-range traffic data collection (traffic counts and trip time measurement) and their analysis. The formation of congestion on a road network with recurrent congestion plays out a typical scenario. In this scenario, some special traffic phenomena play important roles, for example, the wide-range use of alternative routes. The importance of the problem can be seen, as in some cases, within the most important cross-section, as the flow from local roads can reach 70–80% and drivers using alternative routes can reach 30–40% of the total flow. This research outlines a concept which integrates the interesting and important traffic phenomena of recurrent congestion into one theoretical system. The concept provides practical applicability in traffic management and offers the possibility of involving other sciences, such as psychology, sociology and game theory into congestion management. This new concept could fundamentally change the way we think about traffic congestion.
congested roads, rush hour, traffic congestion, traffic management, traffic volume