Modeling the morning commute for urban networks with cruising-for-parking: An MFD approach
This study focuses on the morning commute problem with explicit consideration of cruising-for-parking, and its adverse impacts on traffic congestion. The cruising-for-parking is modeled through a dynamic aggregated traffic model for networks: the Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram (MFD). Firstly, we formulate the commuting equilibrium in a congested downtown network where travelers have to cruise for curbside parking spaces. The cruising-for-parking would yield longer trip distance and smaller network outflow, and thus can induce severe congestion and lengthen the morning peak. We then develop a dynamic model of pricing for the network to reduce total social cost, which includes cruising time cost, moving time cost (moving or in-transit time, which is the duration during which vehicles move close to the destination but do not cruise for parking yet), and schedule delay cost. We show that under specific assumptions, at the system optimum, the downtown network should be operating at the maximum production of its MFD. However, the cruising effect is not fully eliminated. We also show that the time-dependent toll to support the system optimum has a different shape than the classical fine toll in Vickrey's bottleneck model. In the end, analytical results are illustrated and verified with numerical experiments. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.