Route finding as a consequence of a reduction in road capacity

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Australasian Transport Research Forum, ATRF 2013 - Proceedings, 2013
Issue Date:
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The conditions for using a car in Brisbane, as elsewhere, have changed over the years. However, one of the same drivers as before is still there: That is, motorists' desire to make trips by driving in the way that is comfortable for them. The driver that is traffic congestion is also still widespread. This paper considers the driver of travel and transport that is habits. In particular, it considers the habits (including use of technology) which affect the choice of route when there is a reduction in road capacity. In this situation there may be initial confusion about what motorists should do and where they should go, in order to carry out their usual trips. The normal expectation of route choice is that a path between an origin and a destination will be selected (in advance) so as to minimize the distance and/or time required. A desire to avoid paying tolls is also an expected reaction. Less often discussed are the decisions that motorists make while driving about which roads to use as a result of their own perceptions of the traffic situation. This paper discusses a qualitative study of motorists affected by the reduction in road capacity that occurred on Epping Road after the Lane Cove Tunnel in Sydney was opened. It found a range of different bases for choice of route, depending on the motorists' attitudes, knowledge and existing habits. This can be used to explain why any chaos that occurs when a road is narrowed, is short-lived.
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