On the use of traffic assignment and microsimulation to predict work zone effects

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Smith, Harry Vincent, II

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The field of transportation modeling exists at a crossroads. Practice lags behind advancements in theory, software, and computer power. During this transitional phase, it becomes difficult to understand which estimations are reliable. Several popular programs work toward similar purposes, but inputs and outputs from one program might not translate to another. This thesis analyzes the cross-compatibility of static traffic assignment and microsimulation for the San Antonio, Texas area. The methodology uses two models already built and in use for the area: one in TransCAD for static traffic assignment and another in VISSIM for microsimulation. In Chapter 2, the reader is presented an overview of the literature on several topics. First, the basics of work zone demand management and traffic control plans are covered. Then, this section introduces the differences between static and dynamic traffic assignment. The discussion also includes reasons why advancements have not been universally implemented yet.
Next, the text of Chapter 3 and 4 explains the methodology and results from traffic assignment and microsimulation. Challenges and successes of the entire process are thoroughly explored. A conclusion in Chapter 5 assesses the feasibility of combining the two methods to obtain useful results of user delay and traffic volume for planners.


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