Examining the Influence of Political Factors on the Design of a New Road
Transport policy is often influenced by political factors. The few existing studies on this topic analyse patterns arising from a series of past decisions. This chapter adds to this knowledge by exploring the implications of political bias in the design of an individual project. The objective is to compare socially and politically optimal decisions for different hypothesis about the level and nature of political bias. GIS methods are used to derive route alignments for a new road, taking into account the level and distribution of community severance effects. The results show that even when bounding the problem with several restrictions, attending to political interests leads to deviations from the social optimum, producing alignments not only with higher aggregate severance impacts, but also with higher land use costs and important distributional effects.
KeywordsOptimal Route Political Factor Transport Infrastructure Vote Share Arterial Road
This research was supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. Thanks go to Giles Atkinson, Steve Gibbons, Helena Titheridge and Andrew Lovett for their comments.
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