Route choice and residential environment : introducing liveability requirements in navigation systems in Flanders
Faculty of Design Sciences
Engineering sciences. Technology
Journal of transport geography. - London
, p. 19-27
Vehicle route planning and navigation systems aim to provide the most beneficial routes to their users while disregarding the impact on the liveability of the surrounding residential areas. Therefore, future integration of route choice behaviour by route planners and measures to improve liveability and safety standards should be pursued. The Spatial Plan for Flanders, which is the overarching spatial policy plan in the northern part of Belgium, determines a system of road categories aimed at optimising the liveability of sensitive areas, such as residential neighbourhoods or school precincts, without jeopardizing accessibility. This paper examines to what extent routes proposed by commercial route planners differ from more socially desirable routes that are guided by the policy principles of road categorisation in Flanders as proposed by the plan. Results show that commercial route-planners routes choose more often roads of the lowest category than socially acceptable. However, for some of the assessed connections, the socially desired alternative is a feasible route as well, which is not excessively increasing time consumption or distance travelled. It is concluded that the implementation of the prevailing road categorisation system in Flanders in routing algorithms has the potential to promote more sustainable route choices, while infrastructural measures that discourage cut-through traffic may help materialising the categorisation system.