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Urban Road User Charging Online Knowledge Base
What Is Known About The Theme?
Walters (1964) was the first to demonstrate that traffic engineering relationships (speed flow curves) can be used to estimate congestion tolls and using this principle demonstrate the results for the Lincoln Tunnel in New York. He showed that implementation of tolls can lead to traffic flow reductions and achieve a lower level of congestion. In theoretical studies, several authors ((Elliot (1975); Cheslow, (1978); Gomez-Ibanez and Fauth (1980)) have applied this concept to several cities in North America and all these studies reported decreases of up to 30% in traffic with the application of tolls. In these early studies, network effects were not considered.
The fundamental principles by which URUC affects traffic levels are described in Chapter 6 on Prediction. In that chapter, it was pointed out that charges would increase the costs of travel and hence leading to reductions in traffic volumes. In addition, there would be the opportunity for drivers to change their routes, there would also be diversions to other times of the day (e.g. to travel earlier to avoid the charge). So for example, this would lead to reduced flows in the area and at the times affected by the charge but may increase them on the periphery and the shoulders. Another possible response would be for drivers to divert some trips (e.g. shopping) to other places which are not affected by the charge. There is also the possibility of a mode switch (e.g. to vehicles that are not charged depending on the particular exemptions of the scheme). This could, for example, increase the flow of motorcycles.
Reductions in traffic flows in congested areas are likely to have more than proportional impacts on the reduction of congestion, which will in turn raise average speeds. Conversely those areas and times where flows increase may suffer a worsening of congestion.
No information on this theme is currently available from the case studies
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