Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor's Name

Albert Gan

Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Advisor's Name

L. David Shen

Advisor's Name

Mohammed Hadi

Advisor's Name

Zhenmin Chen

Keywords

Seasonal Factors, AADT, Traffic Monitoring, Regression Analysis, Seasonal Factor Assignment

Date of Defense

7-13-2012

Abstract

Traffic volume data are input to many transportation analyses including planning, roadway design, pavement design, air quality, roadway maintenance, funding allocation, etc. Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) is one of the most often used measures of traffic volume. Acquiring the actual AADT data requires the collection of traffic counts continuously throughout a year, which is expensive, thus, can only be conducted at a very limited number of locations. Typically, AADTs are estimated by applying seasonal factors (SFs) to short-term counts collected at portable traffic monitoring sites (PTMSs).

Statewide in Florida, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) operates about 300 permanent traffic monitoring sites (TTMSs) to collect traffic counts at these sites continuously. TTMSs are first manually classified into different groups (known as seasonal factor categories) based on both engineering judgment and similarities in the traffic and roadway characteristics. A seasonal factor category is then assigned to each PTMS according to the site’s functional classification and geographical location. The SFs of the assigned category are then used to adjust traffic counts collected at PTMSs to estimate the final AADTs. This dissertation research aims to develop a more objective and data-driven method to improve the accuracy of SFs for adjusting PTMSs.

A statewide investigation was first conducted to identify potential influential factors that contribute to seasonal fluctuations in traffic volumes in both urban and rural areas in Florida. The influential factors considered include roadway functional classification, demographic, socioeconomic, land use, etc. Based on these factors, a methodology was developed for assigning seasonal factors from one or more TTMSs to each PTMS.

The assigned seasonal factors were validated with data from existing TTMSs. The results show that the average errors of the estimated seasonal factors are, on average, about 4 percent. Nearly 95 percent of the estimated monthly SFs contain errors of no more than 10 percent. It was concluded that the method could be applied to improve the accuracy in AADT estimation for both urban and rural areas in Florida.

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