Research Reports

Capacity Expansion in the Twin Cities: The Roads-Transit Balance

Principal Investigator:

Gary A Davis, Kate Sanderson, HunWen Tao

December 2006

Report no. MnDOT 2006-44

Projects: Capacity Expansion in the Twin Cities: The Roads-transit Balance

Topics: Economics, Modes, Planning

"What would it take to build our way out of congestion in the Twin Cities?" was the question posed by researchers five years ago. This previous study solved a roads-only network design problem (NDP) for the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Building on that work, another network design problem is examined for the Twin Cities metropolitan area of 3 million, to examine the tradeoff between demand side reductions and the limited access capacity expansion necessary to achieve desired levels of service. The problem is simplified by pre-determining a mode split, which allows for incorporating decreasing demand directly as an input rather than in the model formulation. The problem is solved using Sequential Linear Expansion SLIE), a modified method of successive averages (MSA). Computation time for the large network is decreased to a reasonable length using another modification, the MSA with decreasing re-initialization (MSADR). A typical personal computer can solve this large-sized problem within 24 hours. For forecasted travel demand for 2030, it was found that if the number of trips were reduced by 20%, lane miles needed to achieve LOS D decreases by up to 43%.

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