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.