Performance measures for characterizing regional congestion using aggregated multi-year probe vehicle data
Brennan, Thomas M.
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Probe vehicle speed data has become an important data source for evaluating the congestion performance of highways and arterial roads. Predefined spatially located segments known as Traffic Message Channels (TMCs) are linked to commercially available, temporal anonymous probe vehicle speed data. This data has been used to develop agency-wide performance measures to better plan and manage infrastructure assets. Recent research has analyzed individual as well as aggregated TMC links on roadway systems to identify congested areas along spatially defined routes. By understanding the typical congestion of all TMCs in a region as indicated by increased travel times, a broader perspective of the congestion characteristics can be gained. This is especially important when determining the impact of such occurrences in the region as a major crash event, special events, or during extreme conditions like a natural or human-made disaster. This research demonstrates how aggregated probe speed data can be used to characterize regional congestion. To demonstrate the methodology an analysis of vehicle speed data during Hurricane Sandy, the second costliest hurricane in the United States, is used to show the regional impact in 2012. Further, the analysis results are compared and contrasted with comparable periods of increased congestion in 2013, 2014, and 2016. The analysis encompasses 614 TMCs, within 10-miles of the New Jersey coast. Approximately 90-million speed records covering five counties are analyzed in the study.
Department of Civil Engineering
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