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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Aspatial models of zone pricing and parking

  • Author(s): Lehe, Lewis
  • Advisor(s): Daganzo, Carlos F
  • et al.

It is often practical to collapse spatial information about a transportation system into aggregate variables related by an aspatial model---that is, a model in which individual interactions and directions of travel are not explicitly accounted for. This dissertation brings aspatial modelling to bear on two topics: downtown congestion pricing, referred to as ``zone pricing,'' and parking policy.

Regarding zone pricing, a survey of the history of zone pricing shows that all existing systems fail to toll vehicles according to their use of the downtown network. To explore whether it would be advantageous to charge higher tolls to travelers who travel farther within the network, a static traffic model with probabalistic choice and variable trip lengths is proposed. Distance-based tolling turns out to be more socially efficient than charging all travelers the same price, but it leaves drivers themselves worse off since most of the welfare gains are converted to toll revenues for the government.

Regarding parking, the thesis considers the idea of a ``feedback loop'' among landowners' uncoordinated decisions about how much off-street parking to provide on their parcels, when parking competes with floorspace as a use of land. One landowners' decision affects others' via two opposing channels. First, crowding: when there is too little off-street parking, on-street parking becomes crowded, making off-street parking relatively more valuable. Second, accessibility: when floorspace takes the place of off-street parking, the neighborhood becomes walkable through its higher density, making floorspace more valuable. A stylized model of development decision-making shows that each force leads to positive or negative feedback, resulting in multiple equilibria and counterintuitive results from policy.

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