Urban Transportation Networks

Project Abstract

This project seeks to develop general-purpose methods for optimizing the selection, sequencing, and scheduling of interrelated improvement projects in transportation networks, with special emphasis on relatively dense urban networks. Such urban networks typically experience considerable congestion, have closely spaced intersections and can serve multiple modes having synergistic as well as competitive relations. The methodologies proposed in this work should also be applicable to other prioritization problems with interrelated alternatives, which abound in transportation and other fields, such as industrial engineering, operations research, communications and finance.

Universities and Sponsoring Organizations Involved

University of Maryland, College Park

Principal Investigator(s)

Paul Schonfeld (UMD), Email: pschon@umd.edu

Funding Sources and Amounts

USDOT: $36,000, University of Maryland: $36,000 (Match)

Start Date

July 1, 2017

Expected Completion Date

June 30, 2018

Expected Research Outcomes

This project is expected to yield greatly improved methods for developing transportation networks. The methods will include appropriately integrated components for evaluating candidate projects, selecting them and scheduling their implementation, while satisfying constraints regarding budgets and construction times

The project may also lead to methods for solving additional transportation problems, such as the evolving allocation of road space to managed lanes (e.g. bus, HOV, HOT, bicycle, reversible), the gradual adaptation of urban networks to accommodate connected vehicles, and the short-term restoration of networks after disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes. Promising applications are also envisioned for the proposed methods in selecting and scheduling interrelated alternatives in other fields, such as industrial engineering, operations research, communications and finance.

The methods and findings of this study will be documented in a final report, in papers submitted to peer-reviewed journals and in theses prepared by graduate students working on this proposed project.

Expected Equity Impacts and Benefits of Implementation

By better satisfying the desired objectives and constraints such methods will help us improve the effectiveness, safety, sustainability, and affordability of transportation systems, which in turn improve our prosperity and quality of life. Equity across regions and societal groups will also be achievable by specifying appropriate constraints when using the proposed methods.

Subject Areas

Transportation network evaluation; Traffic in road networks; Project scheduling; Optimization; Economic analysis