Traffic congestion problems not only appear at the central business district but also spread in space and time in urban areas. The development of new suburbs changes the social and economic issues, and impacts the circumferential highway systems. Social approaches for alleviating congestion problems may be useful in a concentrating employment area in which staggered work time is easily arranged. However, for a broad congestion area, it is difficult to analyze the impacts of staggered work time and control of traffic flow. Furthermore, staggered work time may influence the operation of transit and ridesharing. Socioeconomic approaches have many different techniques for relieving the congestion problems. Pricing and regulatory mechanisms as well as restricting access will get good effects in shifting the demand if they can combine with other programs such as priority control, ridesharing and transit service improvements. Land use planning, marketing and ridesharing may be long-term strategies, and need to be implemented continuously. However, to get the best effects, many programs should be combined and continued. The techniques of cooperative financing and private-sector involvement would be useful. Sociotechnical approaches may or may not relieve the traffic congestion because it depends on how many trips could be substituted. Technical approaches are the most common approaches used by the traffic engineer. Some of these techniques try to increase capacity by building new facilities and designing new systems, but may attract additional demand. Other techniques attempt to increase the efficiency of existing systems by adequate management and technical improvements, but may be blocked because the demand exceeds the capacity. Building and upgrading systems need to consider how to maintain the original traffic flow. New designed systems, such as rapid transit and automated highway systems, may get lots of useful capacity, but needs public support of this system. Financial and technical problems should be considered in these systems. For the traffic engineering techniques, dynamic optimal ramp and signal control, incident management and automatic data collection are the typical problems which need further study. Route guidance may bring us into an automatic car world, and it may or may not alleviate traffic congestion. Analyzing the complex traffic congestion problems in urban areas, evaluating the impacts, then choosing and combining several techniques which have positive effects to each other would be the method of alleviating congestion.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

    Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, 122 Civil and Mineral Engineering Building
    Minneapolis, MN  United States  55455-0220
  • Authors:
    • Chang, K-K
  • Publication Date: 1988-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Tables;
  • Pagination: 37 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00667761
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 27 1994 12:00AM