Changing Transport Behavior as a Factor in Suburban Congestion

P. Prevedouros, J. L. Schofer

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Suburban congestion is among the most pressing transportation problems in large urban metropolises. One of the major causes of this problem is the changing transport behavior of people, created by a series of complex social, economic, technological, and cultural changes. Rapidly developing suburbs are a focal point for congestion in part because they are at the forefront of these changes. A conceptual framework has been established for identifying the channels through which various phenomena affect individuals and households, their orientation in life, and the decision-making process that results in manifest transport behavior. Several national trends in household structure, location patterns, incomes, life-styles, social values, and norms, as well as in technology, are identified in this paper, and their effect on transport behavior is explored. To explore differences in demographics, household structure and commuting patterns among the central cities and growing and stable suburbs, a cluster analysis was performed using data from several suburbs and the central city of Chicago. Cluster results suggest that growing suburbs appear to be quite different from other areas in dimensions related to life-styles and transport behavior. Based on these results, useful solutions to the suburban congestion problem must be based on a more fundamental understanding of the underlying life-styles and transport behavior of suburban residents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-58
JournalTransportation Research Record 1237
StatePublished - 1989

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