"An Integrated Computer System for Analysis, Selection, and Evaluation of Unconventional Intersections"
Gang-Len Chang - PI
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Unconventional intersections with their variety of designs to accommodate the resource constraints and traffic demands has emerged as one of the most popular strategies to contend with both recurrent and non-recurrent arterial congestion. Over the past several years, MDSHA and UMD researchers have devoted tremendous efforts on this vital subject, and the research results presented on the website of the ATTAP program are well recognized by nationwide highway agencies as the most informative site for learning and referencing any work related to unconventional intersections. MDSHA is also well respected as one of the more experienced highway agencies at implementing unconventional intersections. However, to continue its leading role and to further convert all research accomplishments into tangible benefits, much remains to be done.
One of the priority tasks is to integrate all research products associated with various unconventional intersections as a convenient tool that can effectively assist potential users in efficiently identifying the candidate set of designs under the given constraints, comparing the resulting costs and benefits, assessing its impacts on the current traffic systems as well as on the future development. Such an intelligent tool shall also be able to advise the users regarding the list of critical factors to be taken into account in the selection process and their relative weights, and to suggest the most effective design under different selected MOEs. With its intelligent simulation module, the users of such a tool shall be able to quantify the impacts of the proposed unconventional design, and visualize its effectiveness as well as interrelations with neighboring intersections. In design of such an intelligent tool, the research team intends to develop an intelligent knowledge-based function that will allow the system to take advantage of suggestions, feedbacks, and expertise of experienced users in enhancing its functions.
It is expected that MDSHA with such a tool can effectively select the most appropriate design of unconventional intersections under various constraints, substantially reduce the design efforts, and yield the maximal benefits under the diminishing resources. In addition, the proposed intelligent tool can also serve as a cost-effective system for training and educating highway engineers who are interested in this vital subject.