Use and Comparison of Traffic Simulation Models in the Analysis of Emergency Evacuation Conditions

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Title: Use and Comparison of Traffic Simulation Models in the Analysis of Emergency Evacuation Conditions
Author: Tagliaferri, Anthony Paul
Advisors: Dr. Nagui M. Rouphail, Ph.D., P.E., Committee Member
Dr. Billy M. Williams, Ph.D., P.E., Committee Chair
Dr. Joseph E. Hummer, Ph.D., P.E., Committee Member
Abstract: The evacuation of vulnerable coastal areas in the event of an emergency such as an impending hurricane has become a significant safety issue due to the rapid growth of both permanent and tourist populations in these areas. Highway capacity has often not been upgraded in line with this demand growth. In the case of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, evacuations of areas of North and South Carolina resulted in several highly congested primary highways and, as a result, several states created Lane Reversal Plans for interstates and/or divided highways along evacuation routes. However, these plans were created with little data to rely on as to their efficiency. A major research study was funded by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to use simulation modeling to investigate the effects of the Interstate 40 Lane Reversal Plan on the evacuation of Wilmington and New Hanover County, North Carolina. In addition to the analysis of the effects of lane reversal, a side-by-side comparison of the CORSIM and VISSIM simulation models was performed on the highway network based on demand estimates provided by a demand study performed for the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Analysis using CORSIM and VISSIM showed lane reversal to provide considerable capacity increases to traffic attempting to exit New Hanover County via Interstate 40, which had significantly increased throughput and decreased queues within New Hanover County in the event of large-scale evacuations.
Date: 2005-03-29
Degree: MS
Discipline: Civil Engineering

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