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Project Type
UTRC Research Initiative
Project Dates
12/31/2006 - 08/31/2008
Principal Investigators
Project Status

The objective of this project is to develop a model that assesses the importance of different transportation facilities using travel time as a measure of performance. This model will have potential applications in incident management and contingency planning of road works, and the impact of reduced capacity on links due to factors such as lane closures, accidents and external threats. It is anticipated that such a tool will be beneficial for government agencies such as NYSDOT, NYMTC and other private agencies.

Assessing the importance of transportation facilities is an increasingly growing topic of interest to the federal and state transportation agencies. In the wake of recent terrorist attacks and the ongoing external threats (both manmade and natural), significant steps are needed to improve the security in New York (NY) state, especially NY city. New York has one of the widely utilized multi-modal networks in the country with the right leveraging conditions among different modes. Assessing the cross-boundary impacts of the operations from a particular facility on the entire transportation system has the potential to dramatically strengthen NY’s transportation from external threats and lessen the impact of potential disruptions on New York travelers and shipments. Various completed and ongoing studies explored this topic from different perspectives (NCHRP report 207); however these studies fail to arrive at a comprehensive modeling tool to study this critical problem. In this project, we are concerned with developing a tool which will assist transportation professionals to assess the importance of different transportation facilities. Developing such a tool will relieve congestion; maximize the safety and mobility of people and goods. The results from this work have the potential to be included into the metropolitan and statewide transportation plans. The key questions which this project will address are:

  • Which links/nodes (facilities) are most critical to the operation of the entire transportation infrastructure system;
  • How do we identify these facilities; and
  • How do we rank these different facilities to estimate operating costs and aid in network investments and contingency planning.

The research team will identify different situations to illustrate the resulting strain on the transportation system. The developed model will be implemented on two New York state test networks (currently identified as NY city and Albany area) to demonstrate the benefit of this tool. In addition to the strong research experience this multi-university team brings to the project, an emphasis on the education and outreach to the next generation of transportation professionals will be placed throughout. In this respect, RPI and University of Puerto Rico (UPRM) will support a graduate student, support an undergraduate intern from UPRM who will visit RPI, integrate these results into classroom teaching and disseminate this work through presentations at Annual Transportation Research Board Conference. The PI will also provide a one to one matching by complementing the funds to support a graduate student for one year and equipment to accomplish the tasks outlined in the work scope.