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Managing Networks A GIS & Project-Based Network Management System for Highways and Transit Presented to 12 th TRB Transportation Planning Applications Conference, Houston, TX Bing Mei, P.E. Triangle Regional Model Service Bureau ITRE @ NCSU May 19, 2009. Introduction.

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Managing NetworksA GIS & Project-Based Network Management System for Highways and TransitPresented to 12th TRB Transportation Planning Applications Conference, Houston, TXBing Mei, P.E.Triangle Regional Model Service BureauITRE @ NCSUMay 19, 2009

  • Initially developed in 2006 for creating and managing highway and transit networks for the Triangle Regional Model
  • Improved during the past couple of years
  • Extensively used in 2008 and 2009 for
    • 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan studies
      • 37 scenarios
      • Total 800+ highway projects and phases coded
      • 300+ ~ 600+ transit routes in each scenario
    • Regional Transit Vision Plan studies (multiple scenarios)
    • by Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro (DCHC) MPO, Triangle Transit (TT), NCDOT, and consultants
  • A highly interactive tool that improves network coding efficiency, especially for transit
  • If not handled properly, being interactive means being
    • user error prone
    • logic hole prone
    • challenged frequently by unthought-of situations
  • A highly interactive tool should
    • first of all, work & work correctly
    • be user-friendly and easy to use
    • be well balanced between flexibility and reliability
    • be well thought-out for all possible situations and hence robust
    • be able to capture, prevent, and/or handle user errors before they crash the system or cause problems later
system structure
System Structure
  • Two major components:
    • Highway network management
      • Project based
      • ONE universe highway network:
        • base year network, plus
        • ALL future year projects as a pool
      • A scenario network = base year network + projects selected from the pool
    • Transit network management
      • Specific scenario highway network based
        • Why not ONE single universe highway network based?
        • Does not exclude the use of the universe highway network as an option (turned out to be a great option for the Triangle Region)
      • Transit routes can be
        • Created from scratch
        • Revised from existing, or
        • Borrowed from other scenarios
      • A whole transit route system can be easily recreated after the background highway network has been significantly altered
highway management
Highway Management
  • Two subcomponents:
    • Project Tool: creating and managing highway projects
      • projects are basic building blocks for creating a scenario highway network
      • definition of projects (e.g. extension of I-540 from I-40 to NC 55)
      • project data management:
        • project ID
        • project description
        • project open to traffic time
        • predecessor and successor projects
        • road section attributes (e.g. #lanes, posted speed, median type, signal density, etc.)
        • special case: road closure
highway management 2
Highway Management (2)
  • Scenario Tool: creating and managing highway scenario networks
    • A scenario network = base year network + selected projects
    • Selection of projects:
      • From the universe project pool
        • manually one by one (or several by several)
        • by open to traffic time
      • From project list table(s)
        • by reading a project list defined in an external spreadsheet file
        • by inheriting projects from other scenarios
      • Use of the four approaches can be combined
highway tools
Highway Tools

Scenario Tools

Project Tools

transit management






More complicated…

Transit Management
  • The real challenging part! Why?
    • Highway project: one or multiple roadway sections are involved, but don’t have to be in sequence or even connected
    • Transit route: mostly multiple roadway sections are involved, and more importantly they must be connected to one another in sequence
    • Transit routes are usually represented as a series of highway sections in software packages
    • But the underlying highways change!
      • If a section is no longer part of a highway project, simply drop it and the project still has a valid representation in the software
      • Can we simply drop that section from a transit route? NO!
      • Furthermore, what about other changes:
transit management 2
Transit Management (2)
  • Two subcomponents:
    • One for creating transit routes and the route system
        • Create from scratch
        • Revise from existing, or
        • Borrow from other scenarios
          • GIS functionality is critical
          • Saves a huge amount of time than coding from scratch
    • One for re-creating route systems
      • When the underlying highway network has gone through significant editing
      • When borrowing a large number of transit routes from other transit route systems that already exist
      • When creating a subset of a transit route system with an altered highway network
      • GIS, GIS, and GIS!!
      • Hundreds of hours saved for CAMPO and DCHC LRTP modeling
transit tools
Transit Tools

Create Routes & Route System

Re-create Route System

  • Good suggestions from TRM Service Bureau colleagues:
    • Chao Wang
    • Joe Huegy
    • Leta Huntsinger (DCHC MPO currently)
    • Others
contact info
Contact Info
  • Bing Mei: