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Project Dates
01/01/2002 - 10/31/2004
Project Status
Project Objective

The objectives of this study are to:

1. Determine an effective organizational structure and program for Park and Ride Management.

2. Determine the most effective method/technology for monitoring DOT?s Park and Ride facilities.

3. Determine the feasibility of linking a monitoring system for Park & Rides to a motorist information system.

4. Develop a prototype parking information/reservation system for NJDOT?s Park & Rides program.

Project Abstract:

The Department's goal is to maximize use of Park & Rides in order to reduce highway congestion. In most cases, effective Park & Ride management is key to efficient use of facilities. A monitoring system can help the department evaluate why locations are under and over utilized. Furthermore, the system can be used to evaluate changes to improve facility use. The study should identify the ?best practice? for Park & Management considering the type, characteristics and quantity of DOT locations. Monitoring systems must also be evaluated for use, cost and capability to integrate with motorist information systems.

Task Descriptions:

Task 1. Needs Assessment Analysis for NJDOT?s Park & Rides Program Survey/interview DOT managers and staff involved with Park & Ride Management to document the current approach and identify their needs. Survey ITS system integrators for adaptability of monitoring systems to motorist information systems in New Jersey. Prepare a needs assessment analysis for the NJDOT's Park & Rides program.

Task 2. Data collection for NJDOT Park & Ride locations. Collect, organize and analyze data for location, size and use of NJDOT Park & Ride locations. The following data will be collected: Infrastructure data: Buildings and functionality (size and use). Traffic Control data: Traffic monitoring system including the associated costs (capital, maintenance and operation). Traffic Flow Data: Traffic flow data may include the number of vehiclesentering/exiting the facility per time period of the day, day of the week and special days (e.g. holidays). In addition, the number of passengers per vehicle may be retrieved from any available databases. A number of traffic flow data collection at various park and ride facilities will be undertaken to collect the number of arrivals and departures and vehicle occupancy per time period of the day. Historical data will also be collected for incidents occurred at each park and ride facility. Database development: The pertinent data for each Park and Ride facility will be embedded within the VISTA data base framework. Deliverables: Infrastructure, traffic control and traffic flow data per park and ride facility will be recorded into an Access database and embedded within the VISTA framework.

Task 3. Park & Ride monitoring systems Review monitoring systems deployed by other agencies and other potential systems. A survey will be conducted to identify the monitoring systems used by other agencies at park and ride facilities. In addition, new promising technologies that could be readily available for implementation will be surveyed and documented under this task. Some of these technologies have already been mentioned in the background review in the first section. A comprehensive analysis of various promising monitoring technologies will be conducted that will include functionality, and comparative cost analysis (capital, maintenance and operation).

Task 4. Develop a Park & Rides Planning/Management/Demand Analysis Approach for NJDOT Based on the results from tasks 1, 2 and 3 as well as the literature review of Phase I, a management/ planning approach for NJDOT?s Park & Rides program will be developed.

Task 5. Integration of the Park and Ride planning/information model with VISTA We propose to use a general framework known as VISTA (A Visual Interactive System for Transportation Algorithms) developed by Ziliaskopoulos and his colleagues at Northwestern University. One of the major advantages of the VISTA system is that it is platform independent. Users will be able to access it and perform their tasks from any computer and operating system (Windows, Mac, Unix, VMS). The VISTA interface is a ?windows like? interface, intuitive and interactive. VISTA requires a minimum set of data for the basic simulation and assignment models to run; if it needs data that are not provided (such as detailed timing plans for intersections) it will assume default data and prompt the user, who at a later stage can go and input the actual data. The VISTA framework is currently being used to model the NJDOT I-80 ITS priority corridor (NJDOT Jim Paral and Karl Brodtman), utilizing the dynamic traffic assignment/simulation model called ROUTESIM. Given this opportunity, common data that are currently been collected for the ITS priority corridor project will also be used for the Park and Ride facilities project. The main additional data that will be collected or retrieved for the Park and Ride project include: park and ride facility location, bus and train station locations, infrastructure and traffic flow data. Further information regarding the capabilities of VISTA can be found in the web address at Northwestern University. Information regarding the implementation of VISTA for the NJDOT I-80 ITS Priority corridor project can be found in the corresponding proposal.

Task 6. Reporting Prepare quarterly progress reports, and final report with appropriate tables, graphs and chart in hard copy version, pdf file format, Word 97 and CD ROM.

Student Involvement

Both graduate and undergraduate students will participate in the project tasks. Their involvement will include data collection, data analysis, and computer applications.

Relationship with Other Research Activities


Technology Transfer Activities

The PI and Co-PIs will meet with the Research Selection and Implementation Panel to develop a staged review plan, and present results of data collection and analysis. The staged review plan will be developed during the first two weeks from the start of the project.

Benefits of the Project

Mathematical models and solution algorithms for parking reservation systems. The functionality of various traffic technologies for monitoring park and ride facilities will be summarized. A cost analysis of traffic monitoring technologies, and parking payment systems for park and ride analysis. A report on system integrators for park and ride monitoring, parking guidance systems and parking information information systems will be presented. The system architecture of a park and ride information system for NJDOT that will be compatible with TRANSCOM?s MDI traveler information system and NJTransit?s traveler information system. The reports on traffic monitoring functionality, comparative cost analysis, the system integrators and the system architecture will aid NJDOT Park & Rides in identifying the best system for their Park & Rides facilities. A conceptual planning model for park and ride facilities. The researchers will further discuss with NJDOT employees, TRANSCOM and NJT the potential for incorporation of park and ride information.