All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Virginia P Sisiopiku

Advisory Committee Members

Michael Anderson

Wilbur A Hitchcock

Jason T Kirby

Andrew Sullivan

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2011

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Engineering

Abstract

Traffic incidents and natural or man-made disasters can impose significant safety risks and disruptions on traffic flows, often resulting in non-recurring congestion. Congestion, in turn, may impede the ability of EMS (Emergency Medical Services) to provide timely response to those in need of medical attention. Thus, it is important to understand the potential impacts of incidents and emergencies on traffic network operations and develop response strategies with a potential of minimizing such impacts on traffic operations, emergency response and the safety of the traveling public. The objective of the dissertation was twofold: a. Study incident management options and benefits from the regional perspective and b. Investigate the role of transit in evacuation of carless population as part of a comprehensive emergency evacuation plan. Those objectives were accomplished through literature review, traffic modeling, scenario development and testing, and evaluation of findings in two distinct yet interrelated studies namely a. incident and b.evacuation case study. The work presented in this dissertation as part of the incident case study investigated the impact of incidents of varying severity and duration on transportation network performance in the Birmingham area. Detailed models were developed to capture driver choices in the event of an incident given familiarity with network alternative routes. As part of the emergency evacuation case study, the work focused on the potential role of transit in the evacuation of carless populations as part of an evacuation due to flooding. The case study determined the geographical distribution of 5,000 transit-dependent people in need for evacuation within the impact area, estimated transit resources requirements for evacuation of those residents, proposed a comprehensive staggered evacuation plan for evacuation of affected people, and tested the impacts of the evacuation of network performance with and without transit evacuation consideration. The dissertation discusses the data acquired and methodology employed for the development of the VISTA Birmingham model along with model assumptions, capabilities, and limitations. Furthermore, it describes in detail the scenarios studied under the incident and evacuation case studies, showcases the results obtained from the simulation analysis, interprets the main findings, and summarizes conclusions and recommendations for future work.

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Engineering Commons

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