Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Market Forces vs. Traffic Jams

MITReview posts on 'Market Forces vs. Traffic Jams' in which 'New research shows that making drivers pay higher tolls at peak times and tracking their location with RFID or GPS technology can eliminate traffic jams.'

The research continues by stating that 'In a few places around the world--such as downtown London--drivers pay higher tolls for entering city centers at peak rush hour. The idea of "congestion pricing" is to reduce traffic and pollution by giving drivers an incentive to travel at off-peak times.

Now a professor at the University of Texas at Austin has shown how a complex extension of this idea could greatly speed up rush-hour traffic flow throughout an entire network of highways and secondary roads in a U.S. metropolitan region. Using a computer model of driver behavior on the freeway system around the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth in Texas, University of Texas civil engineer Kara Kockelman showed that imposing highway tolls wirelessly--and increasing those tolls sharply on heavily traveled roads during peak times--would induce enough people to change their plans to increase average travel speeds by 25 miles per hour during rush hours on many key stretches of highway. The computer model takes into account everything from the frequency of trips to the value that drivers place on saving time.'

New driving habits via computers...its coming

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