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

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

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Minnesota Department of Transportation




"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%, lanemiles needed to achieve LOS D decreases by up to 43%.


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Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Davis, Gary A.; Sanderson, Kate; Tao, HunWen. (2006). Capacity Expansion in the Twin Cities: The Roads-Transit Balance. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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