Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor's Name

Albert Gan

Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Advisor's Name

Mohammed Hadi

Advisor's Name

L. David Shen

Advisor's Name

Zhenmin Chen

Keywords

AADT, AADT Estimation, Annual Average Daily Traffic, Parcel, Travel Demand Modeling, Local Roads, Trip Generation Report

Date of Defense

3-29-2012

Abstract

Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) is a critical input to many transportation analyses. By definition, AADT is the average 24-hour volume at a highway location over a full year. Traditionally, AADT is estimated using a mix of permanent and temporary traffic counts. Because field collection of traffic counts is expensive, it is usually done for only the major roads, thus leaving most of the local roads without any AADT information. However, AADTs are needed for local roads for many applications. For example, AADTs are used by state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) to calculate the crash rates of all local roads in order to identify the top five percent of hazardous locations for annual reporting to the U.S. DOT.

This dissertation develops a new method for estimating AADTs for local roads using travel demand modeling. A major component of the new method involves a parcel-level trip generation model that estimates the trips generated by each parcel. The model uses the tax parcel data together with the trip generation rates and equations provided by the ITE Trip Generation Report. The generated trips are then distributed to existing traffic count sites using a parcel-level trip distribution gravity model. The all-or-nothing assignment method is then used to assign the trips onto the roadway network to estimate the final AADTs. The entire process was implemented in the Cube demand modeling system with extensive spatial data processing using ArcGIS.

To evaluate the performance of the new method, data from several study areas in Broward County in Florida were used. The estimated AADTs were compared with those from two existing methods using actual traffic counts as the ground truths. The results show that the new method performs better than both existing methods. One limitation with the new method is that it relies on Cube which limits the number of zones to 32,000. Accordingly, a study area exceeding this limit must be partitioned into smaller areas. Because AADT estimates for roads near the boundary areas were found to be less accurate, further research could examine the best way to partition a study area to minimize the impact.

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