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MUSE Feature: Dr. Thomas Brennan & Students Study Evacuation Route Resiliency

MUSE Feature: Dr. Thomas Brennan & Students Study Evacuation Route Resiliency

This past summer as part of MUSE (the Mentored Undergraduate Student Experience), Dr. Thomas Brennan, Associate Professor in the Civil Engineering department, took on 2 research students within the department, Ashley Hyde and Anthony Laregina, to study how the usage of speed data can help analyze the congestion of roads.

Incorporating Speed Data To Analyze Evacuation Route Resiliency

Abstract: Probe vehicle speed data has become an important data source for evaluating the congestion performance of highways and arterial roads. Predefined spatially located segments known as Traffic Message Channels (TMCs) are linked to commercially available, temporal anonymous probe vehicle speed data. This data has been used to develop agency-wide performance measures to better plan and manage infrastructure assets. Recent research has analyzed individual as well as aggregated TMC links on roadway systems to identify congested areas along spatially defined routes. By understanding the typical congestion of all TMCs in a region as indicated by increased travel times, a broader perspective of the congestion characteristics can be gained. This is especially important when determining the impact of such occurrences in the region as a major crash event, special events or during extreme conditions like a natural or human-made disaster. This paper demonstrates how aggregated probe speed data can be used to characterize regional congestion. To demonstrate the methodology an analysis of vehicle speed data during Hurricane Sandy, the second costliest hurricane in the United States, is used to show the regional impact in 2012. Further, the analysis results are compared and contrasted with comparable periods of increased congestion in 2013, 2014, and 2016. The analysis encompasses 614 TMCs, within 10-miles of the New Jersey coast. Approximately 90-million speed records covering five counties are analyzed in the study.  

Hyde, Laregina, and Dr. Brennan will be presenting this research on January 8th at the Transportation Research Board 97th Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.  Congrats to their success!  Dr. Brennan has had much success with his research in recent years and we hope he will continue to be successful.  We are especially happy that students like Hyde and Laregina are able to get involved in research thanks for professors like Dr. Brennan.  MUSE is a great opportunity for students to get a taste of research and be recognized for it.  To learn more about MUSE and how to apply, check out this link.