Streamlining Transportation Corridor Planning Processess: Freight and Traffic Information

Abstract

The traffic investigation is one of the most important parts of an Environmental Impact Statement of projects involving the construction of new roadway facilities and/or the improvement of existing ones. The focus of the traffic analysis is on the determination of anticipated traffic flow characteristics of the proposed project, by the application of analytical methods that can be grouped under the umbrella of capacity analysis methodologies. In general, the main traffic parameter used in EISs to describe the quality of traffic flow is the Level of Service (LOS). The current state of the practice in terms of the traffic investigations for EISs has two main shortcomings. The first one is related to the information that is necessary to conduct the traffic analysis, and specifically to the lack of integration among the different transportation models and the sources of information that, in general, reside in GIS databases. A discussion of the benefits of integrating CRS&SI technologies and the transportation models used in the EIS traffic investigation is included. The second shortcoming is in the presentation of the results, both in terms of the appearance and formatting, as well as content. The presentation of traffic results (current and proposed) is discussed. This chapter also addresses the need of additional data, in terms of content and coverage. Regarding the former, other traffic parameters (e.g., delays) that are more meaningful to non-transportation experts than LOS, as well as additional information (e.g., freight flows) that can impact traffic conditions and safety are discussed. Spatial information technologies can decrease the negative effects of, and even eliminate, these shortcomings by making the relevant information that is input to the models more complete and readily available, and by providing the means to communicate the results in a more clear and efficient manner. The benefits that the application and use of CRS&SI technologies can provide to improve and expedite the traffic investigation part of the EIS process are presented

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Last time updated on 11/21/2016

This paper was published in UNT Digital Library.

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