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Minnesota Department of Transportation
This research studied the feasibility of applying a dynamic traffic assignment model, Dynasmart-P, for evaluating the effectiveness of alternative strategies for evacuating the traffic in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, under a hypothetical emergency situation that included the evacuation of the sell-out crowd in the Metrodome. For this study, the southwest portion of the Twin Cities metro area was selected as the study network and a set of different network configurations were evaluated in terms of their effectiveness in coping with a given emergency situation. The simulation results indicate that managing traffic conditions at the outbound freeway links in the given network during the evacuation period and the access capacity from the downtown area to those outbound freeway links are the critical factors affecting the effectiveness of evacuation operations. For example, the evacuation time under the contra-flow operations with the freeways surrounding the downtown area was substantially reduced when the capacities of the key entrance ramps were also increased. Further, an enhanced snap-shot-speed based, on-line travel time estimation strategy was developed and tested at the selected freeway corridors in the Twin Cities' metro freeway network. The off-line testing results of the proposed method showed acceptable performance during the traffic transition periods for the freeway sections up to 12-mile length.
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