A Typology of Highway Congestion Drivers
STEMERDING M P, BEEK P van and SCHREUDERS M, Gondappel Coffeng, FLIKKEMA H and KALFS N, Ministry 0f Transport (AVV), The Netherlands
In the densely populated western part of the Netherlands (Randstad), congestion on the main trunk roads has increased tremendously in the past 10 years. Forecasts show that the growth of automobile traffic will continue. Despite intended investments in ro
In the densely populated western part of the Netherlands (Randstad), congestion on the main trunk roads has increased tremendously in the past 10 years. Forecasts show that the growth of automobile traffic will continue. Despite intended investments in road capacity, it is expected that the congestion problem will persist. Through increasing and less predictable travel times, congestion constrains the accessibility in and around the Dutch economic centres.
However, a large number of people apparently prefers the traffic jam over either choosing public transport or avoiding the peak hour by changing the working hours. For Congestion Drivers (CDs) queuing up daily may not be a matter of free choice but something inevitable: the same journey by public transport would take even more time, and time restrictions imposed by the employer or the household can force one to commute during limited time slots. Both aspects suggest that people in structural traffic jams represent specific groups. In other words: the average highway congestion driver may differ from the grand average driver. This may be relevant for government policy, for specific measures may be required.
Beside supply side measures by investing in road capacity, the Dutch Ministry of Transport carries out mobility policy on the demand side, to release congestion growth. Travel demand is to be influenced by the following:
* Road pricing is an economic instrument which could be implemented for the most congested parts of the network(congestion pricing) 1. It is expected that shifts will take place in transport mode choices and time of departure, especially for non- work related motives, thus giving way to the (economically) essential traffic.
* Improving public transport is expected to reduce car mobility.
* Stimulation offlexible worMng hours may stretch the traffic peak and thus reduce the congestion problem. Also, commuters' traffic can be reduced by compressed working weeks.
* Travel Demand Management (TDM) aims at a more efficient use of infrastructure and other resources and subsidiary measures.
These four strategies are interdependent. For being effective, e.g., road pricing measures would need to be supported by more flexible working hours and improved public transport.
Association for European Transport