Real-Time Traffic Information for Emergency Evacuation Operations: Phase A Final Report

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There are many instances in which it is possible to plan ahead for an emergency evacuation (e.g., an explosion at a chemical processing facility). For those cases, if an accident (or an attack) were to happen, then the best evacuation plan for the prevailing network and weather conditions would be deployed. In other cases (e.g., the derailment of a train transporting hazardous materials), there may not be any previously developed plan to be implemented and decisions must be made ad-hoc on how to proceed with an emergency evacuation. In both situations, the availability of real-time traffic information plays a critical ... continued below

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Franzese, Oscar; Zhang, Li; Mahmoud, Anas M.; Lascurain, Mary Beth & Wen, Yi May 1, 2010.

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Description

There are many instances in which it is possible to plan ahead for an emergency evacuation (e.g., an explosion at a chemical processing facility). For those cases, if an accident (or an attack) were to happen, then the best evacuation plan for the prevailing network and weather conditions would be deployed. In other cases (e.g., the derailment of a train transporting hazardous materials), there may not be any previously developed plan to be implemented and decisions must be made ad-hoc on how to proceed with an emergency evacuation. In both situations, the availability of real-time traffic information plays a critical role in the management of the evacuation operations. To improve public safety during a vehicular emergency evacuation it is necessary to detect losses of road capacity (due to incidents, for example) as early as possible. Once these bottlenecks are identified, re-routing strategies must be determined in real-time and deployed in the field to help dissipate the congestion and increase the efficiency of the evacuation. Due to cost constraints, only large urban areas have traffic sensor deployments that permit access to some sort of real-time traffic information; any evacuation taking place in any other areas of the country would have to proceed without real-time traffic information. The latter was the focus of this SERRI/DHS (Southeast Region Research Initiative/Department of Homeland Security) sponsored project. That is, the main objective on the project was to improve the operations during a vehicular emergency evacuation anywhere by using newly developed real-time traffic-information-gathering technologies to assess traffic conditions and therefore to potentially detect incidents on the main evacuation routes. Phase A of the project consisted in the development and testing of a prototype system composed of sensors that are engineered in such a way that they can be rapidly deployed in the field where and when they are needed. Each one of these sensors is also equipped with their own power supply and a GPS (Global Positioning System) device to auto-determine its spatial location on the transportation network under surveillance. The system is capable of assessing traffic parameters by identifying and re-identifying vehicles in the traffic stream as those vehicles pass over the sensors. The system of sensors transmits, through wireless communication, real-time traffic information (travel time and other parameters) to a command and control center via an NTCIP (National Transportation Communication for ITS Protocol) -compatible interface. As an alternative, an existing NTCIP-compatible system accepts the real-time traffic information mentioned and broadcasts the traffic information to emergency managers, the media and the public via the existing channels. A series of tests, both in a controlled environment and on the field, were conducted to study the feasibility of rapidly deploying the system of traffic sensors and to assess its ability to provide real-time traffic information during an emergency evacuation. The results of these tests indicated that the prototype sensors are reliable and accurate for the type of application that is the focus of this project.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2009/111
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/1004652 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1004652
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc830548

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • May 1, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • June 10, 2016, 3:59 p.m.

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Franzese, Oscar; Zhang, Li; Mahmoud, Anas M.; Lascurain, Mary Beth & Wen, Yi. Real-Time Traffic Information for Emergency Evacuation Operations: Phase A Final Report, report, May 1, 2010; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc830548/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.