Projects (by start year)
- Accessibility Observatory
The Accessibility Observatory at the University of Minnesota is focused on the research and application of accessibility-based transportation system evaluation. The Observatory is guided by a threefold mission:
To advance the field of transportation system evaluation through research of new data sources and methods for accessibility evaluation
To develop standards and tools to facilitate the use and communication of accessibility-based metrics in transportation planning, engineering, and evaluation
To apply our tools and expertise in support of continual improvements in the planning, design, engineering, and analysis of transportation systems
The Accessibility Observatory builds on earlier work conducted at the University of Minnesota, including the Access to Destinations study and the Access Across America report.Center for Transportation Studies.
- Travel Behavior Over Time. The Metropolitan Council has recently completed its 2010-2011 Travel Behavior Inventory (TBI). The release of this data will enable the region to better understand how residents make decisions about whether, when, where, why, and how to travel. Coupling this with previous regional travel behavior surveys completed in 2001, 1990, 1982, and 1970 allows us to understand how changes to transportation networks (both transit, highway, and non-motorized), the use of land, and demographics and socioeconomics have affected travel behavior. The University will investigate changes in behavior over time and space, examining in turn the effects of investment, development, and population change on behaviors for the Minneapolis-St. Paul region as a whole and for areas within the region. This will inform transportation engineers, planners, economists, analysts, and decision makers about the prospective effects of future changes to networks, land use, and demographics, while also evaluating the effects of previous network investments. MnDOT/Metropolitan Council Time: Two Years.
- Pilot Projects to Validate the Results of T-PICS: Phase II. The web-based Transportation Project Impact Case Studies (T-PICS) interface has been developed for the U.S. Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP-II) as a free online tool for evaluating the economic impacts of various types of transportation improvements. The objective of this study is to provide a validation of the T-PICS evaluation system, with an emphasis on its application for generating a range of estimated impacts for specific project types based on projects within its database. This validation will be carried out by selecting a number of representative projects, collecting baseline economic data to describe before-and-after conditions (as is standard for T-PICS), and comparing the estimated impacts from T-PICS with those generated by alternative impact estimation methods, such as regional economic models and other econometric methods. The results of these comparisons will be used both to validate T-PICS as an evaluation tool and as the basis for offering ideas for enhancement of the case study repository and impact evaluation system. MnDOT/NCHRP Time: One Year.
- Access Across America. Access Across America, a study by David Levinson, the R.P. Braun/CTS Chair in Transportation Engineering at the University of Minnesota, goes beyond congestion rankings to focus on accessibility: a measure that examines both land use and the transportation system. The study is the first systematic comparison of trends in accessibility to jobs by car within the U.S. By comparing accessibility to jobs by automobile during the morning peak period for 51 metropolitan areas, the study tells us which cities are performing well in terms of accessibility and which have seen the greatest change. To generate the rankings for this study, Levinson created a weighted average of accessibility, giving a higher weight to closer jobs. Jobs reachable within ten minutes are weighted most heavily, and jobs are given decreasing weight given as travel time increases up to 60 minutes.
- NiceStations: Optimally Locating NiceRide Minnesota Bike Share Stations. Bike-share systems are being rolled out in cities around the world. These systems are simultaneously praised for providing a new nonmotorized transportation option and solving transit's "last mile" problem and criticized for taking trips away from transit agencies or walking. Limited existing literature documents the history, planning process, and logistics, but no study to date has analyzed how bike-share systems fit into a larger picture of regional accessibility. For this project, researchers are partnering with NiceRide Minnesota and TLC/Bike Walk Twin Cities to quantify station-area amenities that generate and attract trips, explain the underlying network structure formed by bike-share stations, and identify how the system complements and competes against other modes. The models they develop to explain the accessibility improvements associated with NiceRide stations can be used to plan system expansion and evaluate the benefits associated with federal policies and investments in bike-share systems. Center for Transportation Studies Time: One Year.
- MnPASS Modeling and Pricing Algorithm Enhancement. The MnPASS high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on I-394 and I-35W are unique because of their fully dynamic pricing schedule. This uniqueness translates to MnDOT leading the state-of the-art and practice, but it also means there are no benchmarks to measure against. It is generally unknown if the current pricing algorithm is the most efficient alternative. In this project, the researchers will develop and calibrate a microscopic traffic simulation model that can accurately depict MnPASS operations on I-394 and I-35W. Using this platform, as well as results of prior studies on freeway users' value of time, they will investigate improvements to the MnPASS pricing algorithm that will trade off maximizing expected through-put for travel time reliability. Specifically, a lane choice model that considers sensitivity of demand to changes in toll rates as well as expected travel time and travel time variability on HOT and general purpose (GP) lanes will be developed. This model will be interfaced with the microscopic simulation model to control the decision of I-394 and I-35W users on whether the HOT facilities are used. The combination of the two will allow exploration of both congestion pricing and operational aspects of the MnPASS algorithm. Minnesota Department of Transportation Time: Two Years.
- Annual Accessibility Measure for the Twin Cities Metropolitan Region. Accessibility is a measure of how easily people can reach places they need or want to go. "Access to Destinations" is a series of studies through which University of Minnesota researchers have analyzed, described, mapped and charted how “accessibility” has changed over recent decades in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Region. Accessibility is another way of looking at system performance in addition to congestion measures. The new performance measure will address the question of how well our regional transportation meets the needs of the population in providing mobility to the places they want to go. This research will identify a specific set of accessibility measures, update the access to destinations study to 2010, and develop a procedure for maintaining regular annual updates to the measure. Minnesota Department of Transportation Cost: $60,000. Time: One Year.
- Metropolitan Travel Survey Archive: Phase 4. Abstract Federal Highway Administration Cost: $40,000. Time: One Year.
- Consumer travel behavior and retail geography: A microscopic investigation using GPS data and parcel-level land use. This research aims to link individuals' detailed travel behavior and the nature of the retail environment for the first. Time. To this end, we propose this research to understand the relationship between microscopic retail geography and consumer travel behavior, and its environmental footprint using GPS-based travel data. Our research will study how retail clusters affect shopping in the Twin Cities, and how consumers' shopping behavior influence retail location choice through empirical studies and theoretical modeling. This research will fill two research niches in retail geography and travel behavior studies. First, by explicitly tackling business interactions on supply chains, we employ the agent-based approach to explain the emergence of retail clusters from a microscopic perspective. Second, using GPS logs of individuals' daily travel data we are capable of identifying the connection between complex daily shopping trips (such as trip chaining) and retail locations: whether retail clusters induce or reduce travel demand, and whether trip chaining drives the emergence of clustering. This research could not be undertaken without the GPS data collection infrastructure that ITS enables. Humphrey School/ITS Institute: SLPP TechPlan . Cost: $84,105. Time: 16 months.
- Case Studies of Transportation Investment to Identify the Impacts on the Local and State Economy. This project seeks to provide case studies of the impacts of transportation investments on local economies. Since the effects of transportation projects can vary according the size of a project and the size of the area under study, as well as other exogenous factors such as existing economic and demographic conditions, we use several approaches to measuring impact. Some locations may be small enough that economic impacts will register at larger spatial scales (such as counties), while others will require more disaggregate measurement of effects. We will measure effects on economic output, income levels, employment and land prices in order to estimate the impacts of specific investments. We will attempt to address issues of generative versus redistributive effects of investments, and to identify specific economic sectors that are disproportionately impacted by such investments. Minnesota Department of Transportation Cost: $89,378. Time: One Year.
- Using Twin Cities Destinations and their Accessibility as a Multimodal Planning Tool. The research aims to envision the future of accessibility in the Twin Cities region for a variety of different urban development and transportation planning scenarios, including a trend and alternative scenarios. This will be done in several parts. First, forecasted population, employment, and other growth indicators will be collected. Second, a variety of scenarios will be developed to address growth trends and tradeoffs as well as provide estimated answers to “what if” questions about alternative land use, network, and transportation pricing configurations. A set of accessibility indicators will be calculated for each of the developed planning scenarios. Minnesota Department of Transportation . Cost: $100,000. Time: Sixteen months.
- Travels Impacts of Bridge Closures 2: Saint Croix River Bridges. Minnesota Department of Transportation . Cost: $20,000.
- Travels Impacts of Bridge Closures 1: Lafayette Bridge. Minnesota Department of Transportation . Cost: $10,000.
- BRIDGE: Behavioral Response to the I-35W Disruption: Gauging Equilibration. The recent collapse of the Interstate 35W Highway Bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis has resulted in immediate loss of life and serious consequences for mobility and accessibility in the Twin Cities metropolitan region. The bridge collapse was a terrible human tragedy, but it also brings researchers a rare opportunity to conduct travel behavior and transportation network modeling research that otherwise could not be conducted. It provides us with a unique natural experiment to study two related processes as they are affected by network disruption, namely, travelers’ day-to-day learning and adaptation and traffic equilibration. Most researchers have assumed transportation demand and supply are operated in a steady state of equilibrium. The equilibration process leading to the equilibrium state is largely overlooked, however, mainly due to the limited data available under such situations. Given the network disruption of the I-35W bridge collapse, travelers have been forced to learn new traffic patterns and eventually (over a period of weeks or months), network traffic may (or may not) evolve into a new equilibrium. To date, very few studies have examined the day-to-day behavioral response of travelers after a severe and unplanned network disruption. In addition, no empirical evidence can be found to support current theories regarding traffic equilibration. This project aims to fill that gap. The proposed research is built upon a recent funded NSF Small Grant for Exploratory Research (SGER) project that aims to collect perishable travel behavior and traffic data after the bridge collapse. Using continuous and comprehensivedata collection from other related studies, the goal of this project is to develop and establish a firm foundation for travel behavior models that can answer the following three open questions: 1) How do travelers respond in terms of their trip-making in a day-to-day context under network disruption? 2) How do traffic patterns evolve from a disequilibrium state toward an equilibrium state? 3) How should transportation agencies prioritize the allocation of transportation resources in response to the network disruption, particularly during the process of traffic equilibration? Answering these questions will make a major leap forward in transportation science. National Science Foundation . Cost: $300,000. Time: Two years (October 1, 2008 - September 30, 2010)
- Traffic Flow and Road User Impacts of the Collapse of the I-35W Bridge over the Mississippi River. The collapse of the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River and its subsequent reconstruction provide a unique opportunity to observe the response of transportation systems to major disruptions that affect their operation. This research project proposes to evaluate the effect of the bridge closure on observed travel behavior, shifts in traffic flows, and resulting effects on alternate routes. In order to conduct this evaluation, a critical first step is collecting. Timely and complete primary data on travel choices and traffic flows. We propose to use a combination of paper and computer-based surveys to collect data on travel behavior of those affected by the bridge closure before and after the reconstruction of the bridge, in addition to real-time route choice and location data from global positioning system (GPS) units. These data sets will be used to summarize and model travel behavior changes prior to and following the reconstruction of the bridge, and to predict the distribution of traffic flows and impacts on alternate routes. Observed and modeled traffic flows will be used to provide estimates of road user. Costs associated with the bridge collapse. Minnesota Department of Transportation . Cost: $200,502. Time: Two years (June 1, 2008 - May 31, 2010)
- Value of Reliability. The issue of travel time reliability is becoming more critical for the movement of people and freight. In order to examine issues related to the value of travel. Time reliability, we plan to test drivers’ preferences for alternate commuter routes in a real world setting. The research participants will drive on three different routes in two cities: (1) primarily freeway, (2) primarily arterial roads, and (3) other streets. Freeways have a possible trade-off between high speeds and congestion during rush hour. Arterials typically have a series of traffic signals that may be. Timed to favor through-traffic. Other routes might have some traffic signals and some stop signs, but they likely have less traffic. By comparing driver perceptions of the alternate commuter routes, it will be possible to determine the weights associated with the different components of travel. Time. Driver preferences may also be based on qualitative factors such as the attractiveness of the route. Thus one objective of the proposed project is to measure and then model the route preferences of drivers who have experienced real-world alternatives to their regular commute to and from work. Preference data will be obtained after the participants have completed their morning and evening commutes on three alternate routes (customized for each driver). The added realism of the novel data collection method proposed for this project should enable the value of travel. Time reliability to be used in route preference models. In turn it will be possible to more accurately predict traffic patterns and produce solutions more likely to ameliorate traffic congestion. An additional objective of the proposed research is to make information about local road networks more available to drivers. This will allow for the better use of existing resources and road capacity for normal operations including when drivers are commuting to and from work. Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium . Cost: $330,935. Time: Two years.
- Access to Destinations: Measuring Accessibility by Automobile. The goal of the proposed research is to develop accessibility measures for the Twin Cities region during the periods between 1995 and 2005. This will be done in two parts. The first will utilize travel. Time estimations on arterials and freeways from previous projects as an input to identify the feasible routes (and their travel. Times) between origin and destination pairs in the region. This will be done through determination of departure. Time- based route travel. Times, and will integrate such data with land use information stored in a geographic information system. The second part will include generation of the accessibility measures for the three. Time periods. Accessibility measures include cumulative opportunity, gravity-based, and place rank measures that were tested in previous research. The final product of this research project will be a comprehensive evaluation of accessibility in the Twin Cities region, which can help in operational planning and in public involvement activities of transportation agencies to ascertain how investments, transportation strategies, market conditions, and land use policies affect the performance of the transportation-land use system. Minnesota Department of Transportation . Cost: $186,000. Time: Two years.
- Metropolitan Travel Survey Archive Phase 3. USDOT Federal Highway Administration . Cost: $25,000. Time: One year.
- Value Capture Project. The accessibility that transportation networks provide has a direct influence on the value of land, particularly in urban areas. Improvements to transportation networks alter the relative accessibility of places, and thus land values. The capitalization of these accessibility benefits into land value provides a source of benefit that can be extracted in order to finance, at least partially, transportation facilities and services. This practice of “value capture” is particularly useful in cases where it is difficult or impossible to finance improvements from direct user charges. This study will provide an extensive review of the value capture concept. It will review the theoretical and empirical literature on the relationship between transportation and land values, including the measurement of benefits from a transportation improvement. It will also review legal and economic frameworks for capturing the value gains resulting from a transportation improvement. These may include, but need not be limited to, land taxes and other property-based taxes, fees and special assessments, developer contributions and various market-based instruments. The study will conclude with recommendations for each type of value capture instrument. Each will be evaluated on the criteria of efficiency, equity, adequacy and feasibility. State of Minnesota . Cost: $300,000. Time: One Year
- Measuring the Structure of Multi-Modal Transportation Networks for the Prediction of Travel Behavior in Florida. This research proposes that the key measurable characteristics of network architecture of multi-modal networks affect travel behavior, such as mode choice and trip length, and system properties, such as highway congestion, after controlling for attributes that are not explicitly network based, such as land use or urban scale. Florida Department of Transportation . Cost: $133,117.83. Time: July 1, 2008 - June 20, 2010
- STREET: Simulating Transportation for Realistic Engineering and Education. Currently, most undergraduate transportation engineering courses are offered in a traditional combination of “chalk and talk” lectures and “paper and pencil” problem-solving exercises, failing to fully motivate students and preventing them from effectively assimilating and applying knowledge in their future work. This approach to education does not expose undergraduate students to the myriad of challenging issues and solution methods that would encourage them to pursue careers in transportation engineering. A new paradigm for transportation engineering education is needed to better engage students and deliver knowledge. Although simulation has been proven to be powerful tool to encourage active learning, the effectiveness of simulation has not been fully examined in transportation education practice, and its potential advantages over traditional ways of learning have not been widely acknowledged. The focus of this proposal is to develop and refine a suite of web-based simulation modules that can be easily incorporated in the undergraduate transportation courses. These simulation modules will be also evaluated in a diverse setting and improved after examining evaluation results. Eventually, the simulation-based teaching materials will become an active textbook, which offers an interactive learning environment to undergraduate students. The active textbook with simulation is expected to improve student understanding of critical concepts in Transportation Engineering and student motivation toward Transportation Engineering and improve student retention in the field. Specifically, targeting the required undergraduate course Introduction to Transportation Engineering, five simulation programs are in the development plan, namely, ROAD: Roadway Online Application for Design, OASIS: Online Application of Signalized Intersection Simulation, SOFT: Simulation of Freeway Traffic, ADAM: Agent-based Demand and Assignment Model, and SONG: Simulator of Network Growth. Prototypes of these simulation programs have been developed (including ROAD, ADAM and SONG) or currently being developed (including OASIS and SOFT) through the PIs’ accumulated works over the last several years. Initial evaluation and testing including the prototypes of ROAD, ADAM and SONG have been conducted in the course offerings at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (UMN). The preliminary evaluation results are very positive and encourage us to pursue further. This project will further develop and refine the five simulation modules and integrate them into the undergraduate courses at UMN. Building upon the local implementation success, the simulation modules will be evaluated and tested in the course offerings of over sixteen other transportation programs from different universities across the country. Feedback from the implementation will be provided to the project team for continuing improvement. In addition, to reach an even broader audience with computer simulation, a mobile booth with public-oriented versions of some of the simulation modules will be displayed at the annual Minnesota State Fair and the Minnesota Transportation Museum for public demonstration and education on current transportation problems. National Science Foundation . Cost: $500,000. Time: Four years.
- The Role of Social Networks and Information and Communications Technology on Destination Choice This research proposes to investigate the impact of traditional social networks and information and communications technology (ICT) on travelers’ destination choice. Earlier models of travel demand were aggregate in nature and found their roots in statistical mechanics rather than the behavioral basis of those decisions. Over the years advances in disaggregate modeling have led to improvements in traditional models giving them theoretical framework that related human behavior. As. Time has progressed, so have the models of travel demand going from the traditional four step process to disaggregate models of individual choice as widely seen in route choice models. These models by and large assume independent actors that make decisions based on their own personal taste. The extent to which social networks and information and communication technologies affect where our destinations are located is an area that is gaining more focus. This project proposes to undertake a study of the extent to which both traditional social networks and communication technologies (and social networks mediated by those technologies) affect these choices. In two phases this project hopes to develop models that incorporate important elements of social networks and ICT for different trip purposes. One dimension of travel is that part of it is derived to engage in activities where other people, who can be friends or acquaintances, are met. Even the work trip can be thought of as an engagement where multiple people get together in a particular. Time slot to engage in their respective responsibilities. It has already been established that a majority of work finding occurs through weak social ties rather than through any formal search (Granovetter 1974). Recent work by the authors of this proposal on a randomly selected area of the Twin Cities observes that there is a statistically significant clustering between where individuals live and where they work. One possible explanation for this clustering is that some of the networks that lead to finding jobs may be transmitted at the neighborhood level leading to the observed clustering. The Internet also provides a wide range of information on job availability. It is expected that a number of people find their jobs using this medium, but also that there maybe differences across sectors of the economy on its prevalence o as a tool for finding jobs. Knowing the demographic characteristics of the people who use this medium to find work, and which sectors are more likely than others to find workers using this medium allows more specific analysis than knowing only how many workers are attracted to a particular zone. Outside of the work destined trip, it is also important to ascertain the extent to which ICT affects destination choice. Just as the Internet can be used to find jobs or organize meetings for multiple people, it is also possible that expanded access to the web has replaced the demand for face-to-face meetings and/or the requirements of travel for some activities. For example, people who want to buy a book can get more value by replacing the shopping trip to an hour on the web where they can find more information on a book from others that have read it before and more recommendation. In other cases the web can also be used to locate particular destinations for leisure, meetings or shopping. It both expands the choices for people beyond what they know of locally and can potentially replace some activities. To answer these questions on the role of traditional social networks and ICT on destination choice, this research proposes to undertake a detailed study of employees of a particular firm where individuals are asked about the mechanisms through which they located their jobs. For example we will ask what means (e.g. recruiters, informal contacts, the web etc.) they used for finding their jobs; if contacts are used, we will ask where they are located and how information about the work reached them. By understanding the information path for different types of jobs and the systematic similarities between them, it is expected that the models of work destination can be made more specific than those done at the aggregate level. For non-work trips, respondents will be asked how their social networks and the web affect their decisions for destinations. Some of the questions of interest are to what extent they organize meetings (both physical and virtual) over the web (limiting their network to those who have similar access), do they replace trips because of the web, do they find new destinations using the web, how in general does it affect their choices of where to shop or undertake leisure activities? Again it is expected that these considerations would lead to better and improved models that take into consideration that the people to be involved at those activities affect the destination choice in addition to the activities themselves. . Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs State and Local Policy Project, Techplan Program.
- Post-Construction Evaluation of Forecast Accuracy. Evaluations of proposed projects and their subsequent performance depend critically on forecasts of demand made well in advance of actual implementation. Depending on the forecasting method used, there may be considerable uncertainty in projections of future benefits or other performance criteria. This study evaluates the accuracy of demand forecasts made for a sample of recently-completed projects and estimate the impact of forecast error on post-construction measures of project performance. Data for the study are drawn from pre-construction demand forecasts, combined with recent traffic volume data from Mn/DOT. Results are compared for urban and suburban projects, as well as for different functional classes. The research concludes with some suggestions for managing and possibly reducing uncertainty in project demand forecasts. Minnesota Department of Transportation . Cost: $51,832. Time: One year. [Download Final Report Mn/DOT 2009-11]
- Economic Impact of Upgrading Roads. Improvements to transportation networks, especially those in growing areas, tend to have impacts on local land markets. In principle, an improvement to a link in the network will confer economic benefits to adjacent and nearby properties. Depending on the type of improvement (construction of a new link, capacity addition to an existing link, or upgrading an existing link), the benefit could represent a reduction in the. Time. Cost of travel or other variable. Costs (fuel consumption or mileage-related vehicle depreciation). Theory would suggest that these benefits are capitalized into local property values, yielding a localized external benefit. This research will explore the nature and magnitude of such benefits. Using a sample of property sales data for Minnesota counties, both rural and urban, we will explore the impacts of upgrading roads on nearby property values. We will also attempt to track and model the. Cost of road upgrades considered in the sample in order to provide rough comparisons of these. Costs with the estimated benefits flowing from the various projects. It is also important to note that such upgrade can have a negative effect due to the external factors (e.g. noise, pollution). These factors will also be taken in the estimation of the effects of network upgrades on nearby land value. Minnesota Department of Transportation . Cost: $72,636. Time: One year. [Download Final Report Mn/DOT 2009-16]
- SGER: Small Grant for Exploratory Research: Responding to the Unexpected: Understanding Travelers' Behavioral Choices in the Wake of the Mississippi River Bridge Collapse. This research aims to (1) Collect both aggregated traffic data and disaggregated panel survey data that will help to understand the traveler’s behavioral choice and traffic pattern evolution after the event; (2)Perform preliminary analysis on collected traffic data; and (3) Identify short-term and long-term research needs concerning traveler’s behavioral response and traffic management strategies after network disruption. National Science Foundation . Cost: $17,000. Time: One year.
- Job-Housing Mismatch: An Affinity Model of Worker-Job Matching. Traditionally, travel surveys based on 1% of the population are used to understand travel behavior. Recently, much more complete data has become available to researchers and policy makers, allowing them to better understand job- housing mismatch in a region. The Longitudinal Employer–Household Dynamics dataset, available from the Minnesota Department of Labor, includes residence and employment location information for each employed individual in the Twin Cities metropolitan area (excluding self-employed and selected sales personnel). Using these data, as well as data from other sources, this project will analyze the relationship between people’s choices of residence relative to their employment locations in the Twin Cities region. This project will extend travel behavior research to help understand the characteristics of people’s choices of residence relative to their employment locations. The central research hypothesis is that although travel. Time and income are important factors in where people live and work, other factors may help shape the commuting patterns observed in metropolitan areas. Certain residential neighborhoods produce more workers for a given employment district and in a given industrial classification than can be explained by travel. Time and income alone. By better identifying the causal factors in travel location, travel demand modelers, transportation planners, and engineers will be better able to address job-housing mismatches and imbalances between demand skills and worker skill sets. Center for Urban and Regional Affairs University of Minnesota. Cost ~$44,000. Time One year.
- Access to Destinations: Monitoring land use activity changes in the Twin Cities Metropolitan region. Any accessibility measure has two main components. First is land use activity or attraction, while the second is transportation system including network impedance. This research concentrates on changes in land use activity over. Time in the Twin Cities metropolitan region as a part of the Access to Destinations research program being developed at the Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota. In a typical land use and transportation cycle, any change in land use is expected to lead to changes in the transportation characteristics. Meanwhile the change in transportation infrastructure and/or characteristics is expected to lead to changes in land use and so on. Accordingly it is essential for any accessibility project to have a full understanding of the consequences of changes. This research propose to develop a land use change prediction model that can be integrated with network growth models to help in developing measure of accessibility over. Time. This model will assist in understanding the consequences of changes in land use activity in the Twin Cities metro region while accounting for changes and effects of the transportation system. Minnesota Department of Transportation and Hennepin County, Minnesota. Cost $88,000. Time Two years.
- Visiting Academic, Dr. Levinson: The Co-Evolution of Transport Networks and Land Use. This project will fund an eminent academic visitor to the UK for one year. Prof. David Levinson, from the University of Minnesota will conduct research on the evolution of transport networks in the UK, such as rail and road networks. This will help us to understand how these networks grow and develop over. Time. This requires us to understand how travellers and land developers use these networks, both in conducting travel, and in developing the land. This research will build a theoretical and empirical model, using information and data collected in the UK, that will allow us to forecast this growth in the UK. This project will develop a model of the co-evolution of networks and land use, combining what is known about transport demand, and particularly induced demand, and transport investment. This model will provide an understanding of the growth of networks and how these evolve over. Time. Economic and Social Research Council . Cost: £89,000. Time: One year.
- Access to Destinations: Development of Accessibility Measures. Transportation systems are designed to help people participate in activities distributed over space and. Time. Accessibility indicates the collective performance of land use and transportation systems and determines how well that complex system serves its residents. This research project comprises three main tasks. The first task reviews the literature on accessibility and its performance measures with an emphasis on measures that planners and decision makers can understand and replicate. The second task identifies the appropriate measures of accessibility, where accessibility measures are evaluated in terms of ease of understanding, accuracy and complexity, while the third task illustrates these accessibility measures. During this process a new accessibility measure named 'Place Rank' is introduced as an accurate measure of accessibility. In addition, several previously-defined accessibility measures are reviewed and demonstrated in this report including Cumulative opportunity and gravity-based measures. The gravity-based measure is widely used in the literature yet cumulative opportunity tends to be easier to understand and interpret by the public, planners, and administrators. A major contribution of this research is the comparison of accessibility measures over. Time and among various modes. Effects of accessibility on home sales are also tested. Homebuyers pay a premium to live near jobs and away from competing workers. Accessibility promises to be a useful tool for monitoring the land use and transportation system, and assessing and valuing the benefits of proposed changes to either land use or networks. This project reviews the literature on accessibility and its performance measures with an emphasis on measures that planners and decision makers can understand and replicate. It also gauges the appropriate measures of accessibility, while illustrating the accessibility measures. Minnesota Department of Transportation Cost: $55,000. Time: Two years.
- Metropolitan Travel Survey Archive: Phase 2. This project extended the Metropolitan Travel Survey Archive and enabled online statistical analysis of over 50 travel surveys. Federal Highway Administration Project
- Effectiveness of Learning Transportation Network Growth.
Computer simulation plays an increasingly important role in engineering education as a tool for enhancing classroom learning. This research investigates the efficacy of using simulation in teaching the topic of transportation network growth through an experiment conducted at the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Minnesota. In the experiment, a network growth simulator program (SONG 1.0) was incorporated into a senior/graduate class in transportation system analysis. Results of the experiment show that the use of SONG 1.0 effectively enhanced students learning in terms of helping students develop in-depth understanding about the development process of network patterns, and helped them develop some aspects of judgment, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. University of Minnesota Digital Media Center. Time: One Year
- Studying the Needs of the Transportation Disadvantaged: Elderly and Developmentally Disabled. [The Transportation Needs of Seniors][ The Transportation Needs of People with Developmental Disabilities This project investigates the travel demands and activities (in terms of both actual behavior and unmet needs) of transportation disadvantaged individuals. Broadly, transportation disadvantaged populations include elderly, poor, children, persons who do not speak English, the physically disabled, and the developmentally disabled. To date there has been no comprehensive study of the transportation demands of these disadvantaged populations, who have been ignored in conventional transportation planning. ]. Cost: $90,000. Time: 18 Months. Hennepin County Project
- Beyond Business as Usual: Ensuring the Network We Want is the Network We Get. This research, extending the Mn/DOT-funded project If They Come, Will You Build It, assesses the implications of existing trends on future network construction. It compares forecast networks (using models estimated on historical decisions developed with previous research) under alternative budget scenarios (trend, above trend, below trend), with networks constructed according to alternative sets of decision rules developed with Mn/DOT and Metropolitan Council staff. The comparison evaluates alternative futures using a set of performance measures to determine whether the network we would get in the absence of a change in policies (allowing historical policies to go forward) outperforms or underperforms the networks developed by applying suggested decision rules. This evaluation methodology enables new decision rules for network construction (building new links or widening existing links) to be tested. The research suggests a path beyond 'business as usual'. This research incorporates results from the different scenarios tested. It presents the processes, approaches and development to encode historical decision rules. After analyzing flowcharts developed from the interviews of staff at different levels of government, if-then rules are generated for each jurisdiction. This research then describes the details and processes necessary to run the network forecasting models with various decision rules. Results for different scenarios are presented including adding additional constraints for the transportation network expansion and calibration process details. A comparison and analysis between scenarios is made in order to provide a final conclusion on what scenario will produce the greatest benefit for the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area Transportation Network. Minnesota Department of Transportation. Cost:. Time: Two Years
- Value of Information for Motorists. While there is a sizable body of literature on the benefits of travel information, most of it is based on theory or on simulations. This experiment analyzes results based on a field test of 117 drivers completing the same point-to-point trip in their own vehicles via five different routes. Participants traveled both arterial and freeway routes, assessed the travel information that was provided, evaluated the importance of the accuracy of the information and charted their route preferences for various trip purposes. Researchers were not looking merely for perceived. Time savings but driver perception of the value of the. Time saved in order to make projections about whether drivers would be willing to pay for accurate travel updates as a means of reducing overall. Cost, anxiety and uncertainty while driving. Knowledge of how much users want to pay for Advance Travel Information System (ATIS) services is necessary for the design of sustainable for-profit private services or private/public partnerships. Minnesota Department of Transportation . Cost:. Time: One Year
- Benefit-Cost Analysis for Intersection Decision Support. The Intersection Decision Support (IDS) system is designed to assist drivers on stop-controlled low-volume rural roads choosing gaps when confronted with busy multiple lane divided-highways, without affecting traffic on the high-volume road. The hope is, that by providing better gap guidance, fewer crashes (and fatalities) will occur. This research develops a framework for analyzing such a new, and presently under-specified technology, and illustrates that framework by comparing that with more conventional engineering approaches, as well as a “do- nothing” base case. The results show that the IDS System may be an effective tool to reduce crash rates at various intersections. More research is needed to address reliability and stability issues, and in determining how. Cost- effective of a solution the IDS System is compared to other “traditional” alternatives. Minnesota Department of Transportation [Download full report: Mn/DOT 2007-32]
- CAREER Award: The Evolution of Transportation Networks: Empirical Research and Agent-Based Models. This research endeavors to understand the evolutionary growth process of transportation networks at a theoretical and empirical level, recognizing the inter-dependence of supply and demand, and to develop agent-based models to replicate that process. National Science Foundation . Cost: $400,000. Time: Five years.
- Metropolitan Travel Survey Archive: Phase 1. This project developed a Metropolitan Travel Survey Archive to store, preserve, and make publicly available, via the internet, travel surveys conducted by metropolitan areas, states and localities. Bureau of Transportation Statistics
- Guidelines for. Cost-Benefit Analysis of Investment in Bicycle Facilities.
The focus of this research plan is to develop guidelines to measure the benefits and. Costs of limited transportation funds in order to achieve four principal objectives:
- To compare investments in bicycling with other modes.
- To evaluate whether a bicycle facility is justified.
- To choose the appropriate bicycle facility.
- To better integrate cycling into the general transportation planning process.
- Cost/Benefit Study of Spring Load Restrictions. The objective of this study is to determine the economic benefits and. Costs of spring load restrictions, and based on the findings to determine the optimal restrictions (increases) or heavy load taxes to minimize the combined . Cost of infrastructure and. Cost to the industry and commuters. In order to accomplish this objective a number of intermediate objectives are undertaken: Review and synthesize the freeze-thaw effect on material properties and structural capacity to determine how changes in material properties translate into increased/reduced life of pavement; Assign pavement-associated. Costs/benefits to levels of increased/reduced damage; Determine the demand patterns of large trucks throughout the year; Estimate the value of freight movement on the road network; Estimate the . Costs of substitute vehicle, routes, modes, schedules; Assign industry associated. Costs/benefits to various levels of increased/reduced damage; Develop optimal the combination of taxes and restrictions and network improvements Minnesota Department of Transportation . Cost: $300,000. Time: Two years.
- Ramp Delays, Freeway Congestion, and Driver Acceptance. Minnesota's pre-shutdown ramp metering algorithms tried to maximize throughput, implicitly minimizing total delay. If. Time at the ramp is not weighted the same as. Time-in-motion by users, this. Time-minimizing strategy may not be utility-maximizing for travelers. This research will attempt to quantify the weights individuals associate with qualitatively different experiences of travel. Time: waiting at a ramp meter or freeway-to-freeway ramp meter and traveling at different freeway speeds requiring varying numbers of acceleration and deceleration shifts, using experiments in the HumanFIRST Driving Simulator. This information will enable us to better. Time ramp meters in a way that responds to individual perceptions, to maximize utility rather than minimizing travel. Time. This research quantifies the weights individuals associate with qualitatively different experiences of travel. Time: waiting at a ramp meter or freeway-to-freeway ramp meter and traveling at different freeway speeds requiring varying numbers of acceleration and deceleration shifts, using experiments in the Human FIRST Driving Simulator. This information enables us to better. Time ramp meters in a way that responds to individual perceptions, to maximize utility rather than minimizing travel. Time. ITS Institute . Cost: $173,265. Time: Two Years
- If They Come, Will You Build It. This research will determine the decision rules used by agencies to choose the size of the network relative to demand by examining the actual (revealed) results of what projects are funded. It is hypothesized that simple factors (such as traffic growth rates, volume to capacity ratios, and comparison with adjacent upstream and downstream links) explain much of the resulting decisions. This investigation will examine a. Time series of local highway capital improvement projects and decisions for the Twin Cities metropolitan region relating them to network structure characteristics. This research will estimate a function that relates capacity to demand factors. Demand will be measured directly using traffic. The term "capacity" is used here broadly to mean a vector of multiple attributes that describe the physical nature of the transportation network. These include the traditional engineering capacity measure (maximum flow per unit. Time), as well as free-flow speed or travel. Time, and other attributes. Minnesota Department of Transportation . Cost: $84,546. Time: Two years.
- Value Pricing Project. To date, there has been no systematic attempt to examine the relationship between the hierarchy of roads, appropriate level of jurisdiction, and means of financing. Two questions arise from these observations, which must be addressed simultaneously. First, what mechanism is appropriate to finance each different layer of the hierarchy? In some cases, there is competition between links for the same market. In others, a link acts as a monopoly, the only network path between two locations requires the use of a single facility. We may infer that some layers of the hierarchy are more suited to road pricing than others. Further, different types of road pricing (cordon tolls vs. perfect tolls) may be appropriate for different types of roads. Some layers of the hierarchy may warrant subsidy from general tax revenue, while others could be self-supporting with tolls. However, the pool from which this tax revenue is drawn may vary (should it be state, county, township, or neighborhood providing the subsidy), giving rise to the second question. Second, which level of government should manage or regulate which level of the network? There are a number of criteria for dividing the network hierarchically, relating to network function, flow, speed, excludability, competitiveness and alternatives, and locality of traffic. These criteria influence the decision to associate network layers with government layers. An essential issue surrounding hierarchy is the trade-off between span of control and scale economies, including standardization of the finance mechanism. Another is the trade-off between welfare loss associated with lower government levels managing roads that serve in part non-local traffic. Solutions for this problem include hybrid and decentralized organizations and the use of oversight rather than direct management by higher levels of the hierarchy. US Department of Transportation . Cost: $60,000. Time: Two years.
- Places and Networks: The Changing Landscape of Transportation and Technology Final Summary Report of the STAR–TEA 21 Project [(CTS 08-15) (Chapter 7)]. This research endeavors to understand the dynamic growth process of transportation networks at a theoretical and empirical level, recognizing the interdependence of supply and demand, and to develop a model to replicate that process. Key questions examined include: Why do networks expand and contract? How do expectations of the future (forecasts) affect current decisions? Do networks self-organize into hierarchies? What investment rules predict the sequence and location of network improvements? When are already existing facilities expanded (more lanes on the same link) as opposed to new facilities being provided (a new link)? How can transportation planning be improved to take advantage of a new understanding of network dynamics? This research endeavors to understand the dynamic growth process of transportation networks at a theoretical and empirical level, recognizing the interdependence of supply and demand, and to develop a model to replicate that process. Humphrey Institute Sustainable Transportation Applied Research Initiative. . Cost: $210,000. Time: Six years.
- Measuring the Equity and Efficiency of Ramp Meters. The Twin Cities ramp meter system, while successfully increasing the efficiency of freeway traffic flow, has been subject to increased political scrutiny. That scrutiny is due in part to perceptions of inequity in the system. This research analyzed empirical data to assess the pre-October 2000 ramp control strategy and compare it with the “no ramp meter” case on a broad number of criteria. In general metering is efficient for most travelers, but it penalizes those making short trips at the expense of long trips. The research then developed a new ramp control strategy that explicitly addresses both equity and efficiency concerns, and found a strategy that is more efficient than prior strategies, and identified the tradeoff that can be made between efficiency and equity (the most efficient strategy is among the least equitable). Minnesota Department of Transportation/International Road Federation . Cost: $161,082. Time: Two Years.
- Automated Vehicle Control Algorithms and their Influence on Traffic. Adaptive cruise control (ACC) systems are currently being developed by many automotive manufacturers around the world. These ACC systems will enhance cruise control by adding the ability to automatically maintain a desired spacing with respect to a preceding car that has been detected in the lane. Explicit comparison of two ACC laws, Constant. Time Headway (CTH) and Variable. Time Headway (VTH), are based on these results. It was found that VTH has better performance in terms of capacity and stability of traffic. Throughput increases with the proportion of CTH vehicles when flow is below capacity conditions. But above capacity, speed variability increases and speed drops with the CTH traffic compared with non-ACC traffic, while the VTH traffic always performs better. ITS Institute . Cost: $184,000. Time: Two years.
- Improving the Estimation of Travel Demand for Traffic Simulation. [Part 1][ Part 2 Traffic Simulation is only as good as its input data. Unfortunately, it is impossible to inexpensively measure entry ramp to exit ramp flows, which would be particularly useful for testing ramp metering control strategies. In the past, research supported by Minnesota Department of Transportation and CTS has produced a viable method for estimating freeway Origin Destination (O-D) patterns from loop detector data. This research will further develop and apply those methods to estimate O-D demand for use in traffic simulation of freeway sections and corridors. We require zone to zone traffic flows from a transportation planning model, and the flows entering (and ideally exiting) on freeway ramps. The objective is to estimate the traffic from each on-ramp to each downstream off-ramp in short. Time intervals (e.g. 5 min.). This research will include development and implementation of software to enable the method to be used conveniently with easy to collect data. It will then apply the method to selected corridors being analyzed in the Transportation Modeling Laboratory: (TramLab) including I-35W and TH-169. ] ITS Institute . Cost: $199,763. Time: Two years.
- Evaluation Methods for Measuring the Value of ITS Services and Implementation. California PATH Research Projects. Time: Five Years
- The Full. Cost of Intercity Transportation. This study evaluates the full. Cost of three modes of intercity transportation: air, highway, and high speed rail. The evaluation is done within the context of the California Corridor, connecting the Los Angeles Basin and the San Francisco Bay Area. The purpose of evaluating full. Cost is to compare the economic implications of investment in, or expansion of, any of these three modes. California Department of Transportation