Road Traffic Congestion: A Concise Guide

Principles of Foundation Engineering, Ninth Edition 

John C. Falcocchio, Herbert S. Levinson

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Congestion in transportation facilities—walkways, stairways, roads, busways, railways, etc.—happens when demand for their use exceeds their capacity. Travelers tend to complain about traffic congestion because it adds to their travel time and takes away from the time they can dedicate to other activities. Truck drivers complain because it reduces their productivity and increases their operating costs. Transit service providers complain about roadway traffic congestion because it increases the number of buses and drivers needed to provide the service. Congestion increases business costs, air pollutant emissions and fuel consumed. Congestion also can influence investment decisions, and therefore it becomes a major economic concern. It influences where people live, work and how they travel. Therefore reducing congestion benefits a wide constituency. Traffic congestion has been a fact of city life from ancient times when movement was by walking and animal-drawn coaches to today’s cities that rely on various means of mechanized travel. It is a byproduct of economic activities that grow faster than the growth in transportation infrastructure. Traffic congestion is now found in cities throughout the world. It continues to increase as the cities’ population and motorization grow and as travel growth outpaces investments in roads and public transportation. The beginning of congestion is generally perceived by drivers when their trip time increases by approximately 0.4–0.5 min/mile, and they become acutely aware of congestion when it increases by 0.8–1.0 min/mile. Traffic congestion may also be the hallmark of a vibrant economy: a city without a traffic congestion problem is likely to experience an economic recession, or a declining population. But where congestion is too pervasive and trip time reliability is a problem, the city may become a less desirable attraction for economic growth.

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Content :
  • Introduction
  • How Transportation Technology Has Shaped Urban Travel Patterns.
  • Historical Perspective of Urban Traffic Congestion.
  • Overview of the Causes of Congestion
  • Concentration of Travel Demand in Space and Time
  • Insufficient Capacity, Growth in Population, Employment, and Car Use.
  • Bottlenecks.
  • Measuring Traffic Congestion
  • The Impacts of Congestion on Trip Time.
  • The Impact of Traffic Congestion on Mobility
  • The Impact of Traffic Congestion on Accessibility
  • The Impacts of Congestion on Roadway Traffic Productivity
  • Adaptation Strategies for Managing Recurring Congestion Adding New Capacity
  • Overview of Mitigation Strategies that Reduce Traffic Demand

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