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Project Type
UTRC Research Initiative
Project Dates
03/01/2011 - 08/31/2012
Principal Investigators
Project Status

The Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) has had a delay-based level of service methodology for signalized intersections since 1985. The upcoming edition of the HCM (2010) will revise that method. This is happening concurrent with such jurisdictions as NYC reviewing the use of the HCM method in their environmental impact regulations (e.g. CEQR process), and concurrent with a dialog in the profession on when it is appropriate to use simulation models in lieu of HCM methods. The effort proposed is to establish clear guidance on how to use the 2010 HCM signalized intersection method in the context of the NYC urban environment, to provide a computational method specific to the NYCDOT needs for CEQR and other applications, and to provide training sessions/workshops. The effort will include a needs assessment, because of the distinct needs within different units (planning, environmental, operations, others), because of the spread of queues beyond a single block, because of the potential for spillback (an average single block in Manhattan is 250 feet), and because even the issue of “demand” takes on different meaning in different applications. From the needs assessment must evolve the guidance and the computational method, staying faithful to the HCM but being aware of the intense urban application and the need to relate to other tools, such as AIMSUN, now preferred by NYCDOT. NYCDOT will provide in-kind services in the form of data from current detectors for at least 20 intersections, plus professional staff time. This data will be used to test against the results from the new 2010 HCM methodology and to calibrate the method for the NYC environment. From this data, the methodology will be calibrated for the specific conditions of NYC. This is necessary because the 2010 HCM methodology was not developed for the intense urban conditions of NYC. Research will be done to calibrate the methodology to ensure realistic and useful results. Along with this, a computational tool will be developed that incorporates the newly calibrated model. As the NYCDOT is currently using the AIMSUN simulation model, and is entering their data into AIMSUN files, the computational tool will read AIMSUN files in order to automatically get the HCM capacity, queues, and delay. Additionally, the tool will create AIMSUN data files that incorporate the calibrated factors from the research on saturation flow rate. NYU-Poly co-developed HCM/Cinema with a NY area firm. That firm is providing in-kind services in the form of release of intellectual property for this specific undertaking.