A THEORY OF RECREATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC

A simple procedure in tentatively proposed for estimating the volume of recreational and non-recreational traffic on rural highways during summer weekends, without recourse to origin-and-destination surveys. This procedure is based on a theory that there is an ideal pattern of summer recreational traffic on rural highways, from which deviations occur in predictable ways. With negligible error, the ideal traffic pattern postulated by the theory may be stated in these simple terms: On rural highways the total traffic on the average Saturday or Sunday in summer is three times as great as the recreational traffic on the average day during the rest of the week. The deviations from the ideal pattern are determined by the use of the land served by a given highway. For reasons not yet known, highway locations on the outskirts of towns and cities most closely conform to the ideal pattern, and the greater the distance from urban settlements, the greater the deviation from the pattern. These generalizations do not seem to apply to freeways and other through routes, particularly those sections passing through land that generates and attracts little traffic, for they are insufficiently responsive to subtle changes in land use. The closer relation of other highways to the land, however, seems to make it possible to estimate their recreational and non-recreational trips with acceptable accuracy. Methods are being investigated for using the procedure here described, together with findings published in previous reports, to predict the traffic volumes that will result from expected changes in the patterns of land use throughout Ontario. The theory of recreational highway may be the precursor of a general theory, which may make possible the estimation of all types of trips - work trips, shopping trips, etc. - on rural highways. Ultimately the theory may usefully augment location theory and the theory of central places as tools used by regional scientists in their continuing search for understanding of the processes that shape the modern region.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Ontario Ministry of Transportation & Communic, Can

    Research and Development Division, 1201 Wilson Avenue
    Downsview, ONo M3M 1J8,   Canada 
  • Authors:
    • Wolfe, R I
  • Publication Date: 1967

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00125460
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: RR128
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 3 1975 12:00AM