Managing the demand for automobile use is becoming an increasingly important strategy to address the negative consequences of traffic congestion. The Federal Highway Administration, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and National Cooperative Highway Research Program sponsored a scanning study of programs and policies to manage travel demand in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
What the scan team observed was a way of thinking that attempts to influence travelers before they get into their cars by promoting alternative travel modes and provides improved options for those who choose to drive, such as faster routes and more reliable travel times. The team learned that travel demand could be affected through a variety of measures, including road pricing to reduce traffic going into city centers, variable message signs, and customized traveler information.
The team’s recommendations for U.S. implementation include demonstration projects on congestion and demand management measures observed in Europe, technical support and a training course on congestion and demand management techniques, and a study on the state of the practice in the United States.