A method for estimating the inputs necessary to construct a microsimulation model using only publicly available data

Van Hout, Alexander Joseph
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Standard traffic engineering methodologies rely heavily on traffic data collected in the field for the design and planning of roadways and intersections. This data can be used to build microsimulation models, which are versatile and realistic tools for analyzing traffic scenarios. Sometimes, however, time and budget do not allow for the collection of high quality data in the field, but answers to questions about traffic scenarios are still needed. This thesis provides a review of data that is typically available to the public online as well as existing traffic engineering methodologies that will be useful in manipulating that data. It presents an empirically derived method for estimating left turn, thru, and right turn counts at intersections based on tube counts on surrounding roadways and the characteristics of the intersection. It then presents an exploration of the distribution of directionality of traffic throughout the day. Finally, it presents a method for converting tube counts on an approach to an intersection to equivalent lane volumes so that signal timings can be estimated.