Highway congestion and congestion tolls
Date of Original Version
Journal of Urban Economics Volume 4, Issue 3, July 1977, Pages 340–359
Abstract or Table of Contents
Highway congestion is ubiquitous. We model the speed-flow relationship, identifying private and social costs, and the implied congestion toll for a number of proposed formulations. Using data for a limited access highway, we estimate these speed-flow relationships and find that flow as a quadratic function of speed fits best. The unit of observation is the individual vehicle and flow is measured in terms of the vehicles which passed a point shortly before or after the reference vehicle. Maximum possible flow occurs at 30–35 mph and the congestion toll is infinite for slower speeds. Rush-hour drivers have greater speeds for a given volume of traffic and thus congestion tolls must vary by time of day.