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
The derived nature of transportation demand implies that enhancement of mobility per se is not a reasonable goal for transportation policy; instead, improved mobility is desired to the extent that it furthers accessibility—a goal that can be achieved through a variety of measures. The paper uses the mobility–accessibility distinction to distinguish different implementations of congestion pricing. A mobility-based congestion pricing promises to alleviate congestion but threatens to deteriorate from overall regional accessibility as it accelerates metropolitan deconcentration. In contrast, accessibility-based congestion pricing avoids acceleration of sprawl by incorporating policies to ensure that drivers tolled off roads are replaced with residents and travelers arriving at previously congested areas by other means.