AN APPROACH TO PLANNING AND PROGRAMMING LOCAL ROAD IMPROVEMENTS BASED ON A NETWORK-WIDE ASSESSMENT OF ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES

PRIMARY SHORTCOMINGS OF AN INFORMAL APPROACH TO ROAD-IMPROVEMENT DECISIONS ARE THAT IT OFFERS (1) LITTLE FACTUAL BASIS FOR VALUE JUDGMENTS AND (2) LITTLE GUIDANCE AS TO WHAT SHOULD BE THE LEVEL OF SPENDING FOR ROADS. PRIORITY RATINGS BASED ON RELATIVE ROAD IMPORTANCE AND/OR CONDITION PROMOTE CONSISTENCY IN THE DECISION PROCESS BUT THEY DO NOT ERASE THESE SHORTCOMINGS. THE DESIGNATION OF CRITICAL DEFICIENCIES OFFERS AN ANSWER TO WHAT SHOULD BE SPENT FOR ROADS BUT DEPENDS ON RATHER ARBITRARY DEFINITIONS OF ADEQUACY. FUNCTIONAL CLASSIFICATION TEMPERS CONCEPTS OF ADEQUACY WITH CONCEPTS OF ECONOMY BUT, AS IT HAS BEEN USED, REQUIRES ARBITRARINESS IN SELECTION OF STANDARDS AND ALLOCATION OF FUNDS FOR THE VARIOUS CLASSES. EFFORTS TO DATE IN APPLYING THE CONCEPTS OF ENGINEERING ECONOMY HAVE TENDED TO IGNORE THE REALITIES OF ROAD INTERDEPENDENCIES. TRANSPORTATION PLANNERS, IN USING THE TOOLS OF TRAFFIC ASSIGNMENT, HAVE RECOGNIZED INTERDEPENDENCIES-BUT THEIR ATTENTION TO ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES HAS PROVIDED LITTLE GUIDANCE FOR PROJECT TIMING AND HAS TENDED TO IGNORE THAT TOTAL USE OF THE NETWORK MAY VARY WITH ALTERNATIVES FOR ROAD IMPROVEMENT. THIS DISCUSSION SUGGESTS THAT AN OPTIMUM APPROACH WOULD BE BASED ON A NETWORK-WIDE ASSESSMENT OF ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES, INCLUDING CONSEQUENCES ON THE TRIPS INDUCED BY ROAD IMPROVEMENT. SUCH AN APPROACH IDEALLY WOULD CONVERGE EFFICIENTLY ON AN ECONOMICALLY OPTIMUM PROGRAM OF ROAD EXPENDITURES. ALTHOUGH THE EVOLUTION OF AN OPTIMUM SET OF IMPROVEMENTS IS NOT PRESENTLY FEASIBLE, AN APPROACH IS OUTLINED BY WHICH ALTERNATIVE SETS OF IMPROVEMENTS MAY BE COMPARED USING THE CONCEPT AND TOOLS OF SYSTEMS PLANNING IN A MANNER CONSISTENT WITH CONCEPTS IN ENGINEERING ECONOMY. THE PROCEDURE DESCRIBED MAKES USE OF THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS BATTERY OF TRAFFIC-ASSIGNMENT AND RELATED COMPUTER PROGRAMS. AN EXAMPLE SUGGESTS THAT THE PROCEDURE IS TECHNICALLY FEASIBLE, BUT FALLS SHORT OF THE TYPE OF TRIAL IN THE REAL WORLD WHICH WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR A SATISFACTORY EVALUATION. /AUTHOR/

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 1-32
  • Monograph Title: Engineering economy
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00201529
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 19 1994 12:00AM