Matching Items (14)

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Pedestrian Safety at Rural Road and Spence Avenue

Description

Recurring incidents between pedestrians, bicycles, and vehicles at the intersection of Rural Road and Spence Avenue led to a team of students conducting their own investigation into the current conditions

Recurring incidents between pedestrians, bicycles, and vehicles at the intersection of Rural Road and Spence Avenue led to a team of students conducting their own investigation into the current conditions and analyzing a handful of alternatives. An extension of an industry-standard technique was used to build a control case which alternatives would be compared to. Four alternatives were identified, and the two that could be modeled in simulation software were both found to be technically feasible in the preliminary analysis.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Evolution of Women in Engineering

Description

Women have evolved in the engineering profession over the decades. However, there is still a lot more room for female presence in the industry as women currently make up about

Women have evolved in the engineering profession over the decades. However, there is still a lot more room for female presence in the industry as women currently make up about 12-15% of working engineers. Based on many studies and surveys, it is clear that female confidence in their own performance and a feeling of belonging in the industry has evolved for the better. The studies and surveys also show that women still lack a certain confidence to get their engineering degree and then to pursue a career in engineering once they receive their degree. Research shows that the main cause for this is due to the stereotype that engineering is a masculine profession. Men and women both have this mindset because it has become a societal norm that most people go along with and do not even realize it. Unfortunately, it is very hard to overcome and change a societal norm, therefore, something needs to be done in order to fix this mindset. (Crawford). Based on studies and research, there are many ways the stereotype is being combatted. Social media has become a huge component in advocating for female engineers. Men and women are helping to fight the status quo by supporting female engineers and lobbying against people who think women do not belong in the industry. Industry professionals are teaming up with schools to figure out ways to make STEM programs more exciting for all young kids, but especially girls. They are also working to provide more mentors and role models for young girls in order to cheer them on and make them more confident in their abilities when learning and applying the STEM curriculum, as studies have proven that providing young girls with mentors can really help foster more female engineers in the long run. (Crawford). With all of the positive support and promotions of female engineers in the past few years, it is evident that women can certainly progress at a much faster pace than in previous decades.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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A Mid-Block Solution to Safer Bicyclist and Pedestrian Railroad Crossings

Description

The purpose of this project was to design a new railroad crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists in mid-block or urban areas. In order to develop a successful design, the needs

The purpose of this project was to design a new railroad crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists in mid-block or urban areas. In order to develop a successful design, the needs of the railroad, the end-users, and the city governments were researched and converted into measurable engineering requirements. For the railroad companies, the most important need was a crossing that presents an effective barrier to users while a train is in the area. For bicyclists and pedestrians (the end-users), the most important need was for the crossing to be both reliable and easily accessible. For the city governments, the most important need was a crossing that is inexpensive yet sturdy. The approach to this project was similar to the approach used in many engineering design processes. First is the Introduction, which provides an overview of the issue and presents the full problem statement. Next is the Research of Prior Art, which details the past solutions to railroad crossings as well as the 3 E's of railroad crossing safety. After this, the customer needs are discussed in the Needs to Requirements section and the process of converting these into measurable engineering requirements is shown. Next, various conceptual design options are shown in the Conceptual Design section and a final conceptual design is chosen based on adherence to the stated requirements. This final conceptual design is then taken into the preliminary design phase and refined until it becomes the final preliminary design. After the Final Preliminary Design Description, the Project Conclusions and Recommendations are presented. Due to time and monetary constraints, this project ends after the preliminary design stage. Despite this, the conclusion of this project is that the final design presented here will be successful if additional resources are obtained to move it forward into the detailed design phase. For now, this project has come to a halt due to UP's reluctance to allow any additional railroad crossings in the Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona areas. It is recommended that city officials and bicyclist/pedestrian action groups continue talks with UP until they agree to allow additional crossings to be built that are geared towards non-motorized users.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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An Exploration into Different Speed Profiles of Platooning Automated Vehicles and Their Effect on Achieving the Desired Time Headway

Description

Automated vehicles are becoming more prevalent in the modern world. Using platoons of automated vehicles can have numerous benefits including increasing the safety of drivers as well as streamlining roadway

Automated vehicles are becoming more prevalent in the modern world. Using platoons of automated vehicles can have numerous benefits including increasing the safety of drivers as well as streamlining roadway operations. How individual automated vehicles within a platoon react to each other is essential to creating an efficient method of travel. This paper looks at two individual vehicles forming a platoon and tracks the time headway between the two. Several speed profiles are explored for the following vehicle including a triangular and trapezoidal speed profile. It is discovered that a safety violation occurs during platoon formation where the desired time headway between the vehicles is violated. The aim of this research is to explore if this violation can be eliminated or reduced through utilization of different speed profiles.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Congestion mitigation for planned special events: parking, ridesharing and network configuration

Description

This dissertation investigates congestion mitigation during the ingress of a planned special event (PSE). PSEs would impact the regular operation of the transportation system within certain time periods due to

This dissertation investigates congestion mitigation during the ingress of a planned special event (PSE). PSEs would impact the regular operation of the transportation system within certain time periods due to increased travel demand or reduced capacities on certain road segments. For individual attendees, cruising for parking during a PSE could be a struggle given the severe congestion and scarcity of parking spaces in the network. With the development of smartphones-based ridesharing services such as Uber/Lyft, more and more attendees are turning to ridesharing rather than driving by themselves. This study explores congestion mitigation during a planned special event considering parking, ridesharing and network configuration from both attendees and planner’s perspectives.

Parking availability (occupancy of parking facility) information is the fundamental building block for both travelers and planners to make parking-related decisions. It is highly valued by travelers and is one of the most important inputs to many parking models. This dissertation proposes a model-based practical framework to predict future occupancy from historical occupancy data alone. The framework consists of two modules: estimation of model parameters, and occupancy prediction. At the core of the predictive framework, a queuing model is employed to describe the stochastic occupancy change of a parking facility.

From an attendee’s perspective, the probability of finding parking at a particular parking facility is more treasured than occupancy information for parking search. However, it is hard to estimate parking probabilities even with accurate occupancy data in a dynamic environment. In the second part of this dissertation, taking one step further, the idea of introducing learning algorithms into parking guidance and information systems that employ a central server is investigated, in order to provide estimated optimal parking searching strategies to travelers. With the help of the Markov Decision Process (MDP), the parking searching process on a network with uncertain parking availabilities can be modeled and analyzed.

Finally, from a planner’s perspective, a bi-level model is proposed to generate a comprehensive PSE traffic management plan considering parking, ridesharing and route recommendations at the same time. The upper level is an optimization model aiming to minimize total travel time experienced by travelers. In the lower level, a link transmission model incorporating parking and ridesharing is used to evaluate decisions from and provide feedback to the upper level. A congestion relief algorithm is proposed and tested on a real-world network.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Flashing yellow arrow traffic signal operation: a clinical methodology for field conversion

Description

ABSTRACT

This study examines the methodology for converting protected, permissive, and protected/permissive left-turn operation to flashing yellow arrow left-turn operation. This study addresses construction-related considerations, including negative offsets, lateral traffic signal

ABSTRACT

This study examines the methodology for converting protected, permissive, and protected/permissive left-turn operation to flashing yellow arrow left-turn operation. This study addresses construction-related considerations, including negative offsets, lateral traffic signal head position, left-turn accident rates, crash modification factors and crash reductions factors. A total of 85 intersections in Glendale, Arizona were chosen for this study. These intersections included 45 “arterial to arterial” intersections (a major road intersecting with a major road) and 40 “arterial to collector” intersections (a major road intersecting with a minor road).

This thesis is a clinical study of the field conversion to flashing yellow arrow traffic signals and is not a study of the merits of flashing yellow arrow operation. This study included six categories: 1. High accident intersections (for inclusion in Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funding); 2. Signal head modifications only; 3. Signal head replacement with median modifications; 4. Signal head and mast arm replacement; 5. Signal head, signal pole and mast arm replacement; and 6. Intersections where flashing yellow arrow operation is not recommended. Compliance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) played a large part in determining conversion costs because the standard for lateral position of the left-turn traffic signal greatly influenced the construction effort. Additionally, the left-turning vehicle’s sight distance factored into cost considerations. It’s important for agencies to utilize this study to understand all of the financial commitments and construction requirements for conversion to flashing yellow arrow operation, and ultimately to appreciate that the process is not purely a matter of swapping traffic signal heads.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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High occupancy toll lanes with a refund option: a stated preference survey of the Phoenix-Metropolitan Area

Description

Managed Lanes (MLs) have been increasingly advocated as a way to reduce congestion. This study provides an innovative new tolling strategy for MLs called the travel time refund (TTR). The

Managed Lanes (MLs) have been increasingly advocated as a way to reduce congestion. This study provides an innovative new tolling strategy for MLs called the travel time refund (TTR). The TTR is an “insurance” that ensures the ML user will arrive to their destination within a specified travel time savings, at an additional fee to the toll. If the user fails to arrive to their destination, the user is refunded the toll amount.

To gauge interest in the TTR, a stated preference survey was developed and distributed throughout the Phoenix-metropolitan area. Over 2,200 responses were gathered with about 805 being completed. Exploratory data analysis of the data included a descriptive analysis regarding individual and household demographic variables, HOV usage and satisfaction levels, HOT usage and interests, and TTR interests. Cross-tabulation analysis is further conducted to examine trends and correlations between variables, if any.

Because most survey takers were in Arizona, the majority (53%) of respondents were unfamiliar with HOT lanes and their practices. This may have had an impact on the interest in the TTR, although it was not apparent when looking at the cross-tabulation between HOT knowledge and TTR interest. The concept of the HOT lane and “paying to travel” itself may have turned people away from the TTR option. Therefore, similar surveys implementing new HOT pricing strategies should be deployed where current HOT practices are already in existence. Moreover, introducing the TTR concept to current HOT users may also receive valuable feedback in its future deployment.

Further analysis will include the weighting of data to account for sample bias, an exploration of the stated preference scenarios to determine what factors were significant in peoples’ choices, and a predictive model of those choices based on demographic information.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Data-driven Methods for Characterizing Transportation System Performances Under Congested Conditions: A Phoenix Study

Description

Travel time is the main transportation system performance measure used by the planning community to evaluate the impacts of traffic congestion on infrastructure investment projects and policy development plans. Planners

Travel time is the main transportation system performance measure used by the planning community to evaluate the impacts of traffic congestion on infrastructure investment projects and policy development plans. Planners rely on the travel demand model tool estimates for the selection and prioritization of critical and sensitive projects to meet the fiscally constraint requirements imposed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on their transportation improvement programs (TIP). While travel demand model estimates have been successfully implemented in the evaluation of project scenarios or alternatives, the application of the methods used in the travel demand model to generate these estimates continues to present a critical challenge, particularly to modelers who have to produce a validated model upon which traffic predictions can be made. The various volume-delay functions (VDFs) including the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) function, used in the travel demand model to relate traffic volume to travel time, are developed based on system-wide attributes. BPR function in its polynomial form is computationally efficient and simple for implementation in a transport planning software. The planning community has long recognized that the BPR function cannot capture traffic flow dynamics and queue evolution processes. Besides, it has difficulties in using the average travel time measure to describe an oversaturated bottleneck with high density but low throughput. This dissertation aims to propose a simplified and yet effective point-queue based modeling approach built on the cumulative vehicle arrival concept, and the polynomial equation formula, based on Newell’s method, to estimate travel time at a corridor level using real-world speed and count measurements. A traffic state estimation (TSE) method is also proposed to characterize data into various states, such as congested state and uncongested state, using Markov Chain to capture current traffic pattern and Bayesian Classifier to infer congestion effects. As the testbed for the case study, the research selects the Phoenix freeway corridor with year-round traffic data collected from embedded traffic loop detectors. The results and effectiveness of the proposed methods are discussed to shed light on the calibration of link performance function, which is an analytical building block for system-wide performance evaluation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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A tour level stop scheduling framework and a vehicle type choice model system for activity based travel forecasting

Description

This dissertation research contributes to the advancement of activity-based travel forecasting models along two lines of inquiry. First, the dissertation aims to introduce a continuous-time representation of activity participation in

This dissertation research contributes to the advancement of activity-based travel forecasting models along two lines of inquiry. First, the dissertation aims to introduce a continuous-time representation of activity participation in tour-based model systems in practice. Activity-based travel demand forecasting model systems in practice today are largely tour-based model systems that simulate individual daily activity-travel patterns through the prediction of day-level and tour-level activity agendas. These tour level activity-based models adopt a discrete time representation of activities and sequence the activities within tours using rule-based heuristics. An alternate stream of activity-based model systems mostly confined to the research arena are activity scheduling systems that adopt an evolutionary continuous-time approach to model activity participation subject to time-space prism constraints. In this research, a tour characterization framework capable of simulating and sequencing activities in tours along the continuous time dimension is developed and implemented using readily available travel survey data. The proposed framework includes components for modeling the multitude of secondary activities (stops) undertaken as part of the tour, the time allocated to various activities in a tour, and the sequence in which the activities are pursued.

Second, the dissertation focuses on the implementation of a vehicle fleet composition model component that can be used not only to simulate the mix of vehicle types owned by households but also to identify the specific vehicle that will be used for a specific tour. Virtually all of the activity-based models in practice only model the choice of mode without due consideration of the type of vehicle used on a tour. In this research effort, a comprehensive vehicle fleet composition model system is developed and implemented. In addition, a primary driver allocation model and a tour-level vehicle type choice model are developed and estimated with a view to advancing the ability to track household vehicle usage through the course of a day within activity-based travel model systems. It is envisioned that these advances will enhance the fidelity of activity-based travel model systems in practice.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Passenger-focused Scheduled Transportation Systems: from Increased Observability to Shared Mobility

Description

Recently, automation, shared use, and electrification are proposed and viewed as the “three revolutions” in the future transportation sector to significantly relieve traffic congestion, reduce pollutant emissions, and increase transportation

Recently, automation, shared use, and electrification are proposed and viewed as the “three revolutions” in the future transportation sector to significantly relieve traffic congestion, reduce pollutant emissions, and increase transportation system sustainability. Motivated by the three revolutions, this research targets on the passenger-focused scheduled transportation systems, where (1) the public transit systems provide high-quality ridesharing schedules/services and (2) the upcoming optimal activity planning systems offer the best vehicle routing and assignment for household daily scheduled activities.

The high quality of system observability is the fundamental guarantee for accurately predicting and controlling the system. The rich information from the emerging heterogeneous data sources is making it possible. This research proposes a modeling framework to systemically account for the multi-source sensor information in urban transit systems to quantify the estimated state uncertainty. A system of linear equations and inequalities is proposed to generate the information space. Also, the observation errors are further considered by a least square model. Then, a number of projection functions are introduced to match the relation between the unique information space and different system states, and its corresponding state estimate uncertainties are further quantified by calculating its maximum state range.

In addition to optimizing daily operations, the continuing advances in information technology provide precious individual travel behavior data and trip information for operational planning in transit systems. This research also proposes a new alternative modeling framework to systemically account for boundedly rational decision rules of travelers in a dynamic transit service network with tight capacity constraints. An agent-based single-level integer linear formulation is proposed and can be effectively by the Lagrangian decomposition.

The recently emerging trend of self-driving vehicles and information sharing technologies starts creating a revolutionary paradigm shift for traveler mobility applications. By considering a deterministic traveler decision making framework, this research addresses the challenges of how to optimally schedule household members’ daily scheduled activities under the complex household-level activity constraints by proposing a set of integer linear programming models. Meanwhile, in the microscopic car-following level, the trajectory optimization of autonomous vehicles is also studied by proposing a binary integer programming model.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018