Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva 84105, Israel
Journal of Transport Geography
Volume 12, Issue 1, March 2004, Pages 63-71
Available online 19 November 2003.
Traffic congestion is still one of the major problems of urban transportation. It is the aggregate outcome of individual, subjective, decisions in a changing traffic environment.The individual's decision making is affected, among other factors, by experience and direct information from the surrounding environment, or indirectly from the media. The subjective map created from this information provides the cognitive environment within which the driver makes decisions. This study examines the spatio-temporal changes in the subjective map of reported congestion as formed by radio broadcasts in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. It aims to evaluate the spatio-temporal stability of the emerged congestion patterns as a basis for subjective decision making, and to explain its variability as a necessary base for any effort to relieve congestion. Results show that non-recurrent heavy congestion is likely to be unstable. The spatio-temporal fluctuations of congestion were found to associate with traffic volumes caused mainly by weekly-based commuters which include university students, soldiers, and government employees. Reported information was found suitable for longitudinal research, the only kind which enables a broad understanding of the spatio-temporal pattern and dynamics of traffic congestion.
Author Keywords: Reported congestion; Spatio-temporal patterns; Congestion stability; Weekly-based commuters; Tel Aviv