Development of a large-scale traffic simulation model for hurricane evacuation : a case study of Virginia's Hampton Roads region
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Hurricanes are one of the most catastrophic events resulting in severe consequences including loss of life and property damage. Emergency management teams play a huge role in safeguarding the lives of people in endangered areas by evacuating them to safer locations as efficiently as possible. This study was undertaken to evaluate the traffic control plan (TCP), for the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, and the performance of the designated evacuation routes using large-scale traffic simulation models. Road network was coded in a state-of the- art microscopic simulation program, VISSIM. The emergency evacuation plan for the study area was evaluated by simulating the various evacuation scenarios as described in the abbreviated transportation model (ATM) for Hampton Roads region. The study area comprised of the following nine evacuation areas - cities of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, and York. The following objectives were achieved in this research - 1) estimated the traffic performance of evacuation routes and other major arterial streets, 2) located the major bottlenecks, congestion, or other operational difficulties in the areas covered by the network, 3) estimated the total network evacuation time, 4) conducted what-if scenarios (e.g., incident occurrences), and 5) recommended amendments to the TCP to improve the traffic performance.
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