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Simultaneous internalization of traffic congestion and noise exposure costs

Kaddoura, Ihab; Nagel, Kai

This study elaborates on the interrelation of external effects, in particular road traffic congestion and noise. An agent-based simulation framework is used to compute and internalize user-specific external congestion effects and noise exposures. The resulting user equilibrium corresponds to an approximation of the system optimum. For traffic congestion and noise, single objective optimization is compared with multiple objective optimization. The simulation-based optimization approach is applied to the real-world case study of the Greater Berlin area. The results reveal a negative correlation between congestion and noise. Nevertheless, the multiple objective optimization yields a simultaneous reduction in congestion and noise. During peak times, congestion is the more relevant external effect, whereas, during the evening, night and morning, noise is the more relevant externality. Thus, a key element for policy making is to follow a dynamic approach, i.e. to temporally change the incentives. During off-peak times, noise should be reduced by concentrating traffic flows along main roads, i.e. inner-city motorways. In contrast, during peak times, congestion is reduced by shifting transport users from the inner-city motorway to smaller roads which, however, may have an effect on other externalities.
Published in: Transportation, 10.1007/s11116-017-9776-0, Springer
  • manuscipt submitted under different title: “Simultaneous optimization of traffic congestion and noise exposures“