Assessment of network traffic congestion through Traffic Congestability Value (TCV): a new index

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Traffic congestion is a major and growing problem in urban areas across the globe. It reduces the effective spatial interaction between different locations. To mitigate traffic congestion, not only the actual status of different routes needs to be known but also it is imperative to determine network congestion in different spatial zones associated with distinct land use classes. In the present paper, a new formula is proposed to quantify traffic congestion in the different spatial zones of a study area characterized by distinct land use classes. The proposed formula is termed the Traffic Congestability Value (TCV). The formula considers three major influencing factors: congestion index value, pedestrian movement and road surface conditions; since these parameters are significantly related to land use in a region. The different traffic congestion parameters, i.e. travel time, average speed and the proportion of time stopped, were collected in real time. Lower values of TCV correspond to a higher degree of congestion in the respective spatial zones and vice-versa and the results were validated in the field. TCV differs from the previous approaches to quantifying traffic congestion since it focuses on the causes of network congestion while in previous works the focus was generally on link flow congestion.

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