A research study was undertaken, in 2001–02, for New Zealand and in other countries, of the temporal spreading of traffic peaks, or 'peak spreading', on roads in urban areas.
The objectives of the study are to:
- review available evidence of, and research into, traffic peak spreading obtained from cities in New Zealand and elsewhere
- examine the effect of traffic peak spreading on modelling and evaluation.
The two major purposes of the report are to:
- describe the phenomenon of peak spreading, why it happens, why it is important, and where it has been observed in the world;
- assess how peak spreading, given its importance, has been incorporated in new scheme appraisals by various governments and how it has been represented in modelling and evaluation.
Recommendations for incorporating peak spreading as an integral part of transport planning are made.
Keywords: behavioural research, evaluation, modelling, New Zealand, peak contraction, peak spreading, peak traffic, road, traffic