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Title: Benefits Evaluation of Basic Information Dissemination Services Authors: Jean-Claude Thill, Galina Rogova
Transportation Research Board 80th Annual Meeting January 7-11, 2001 Washington, D.C.

Benefits Evaluation of Basic Information Dissemination Services
Jean-Claude Thill, Professor, Department of Geography, SUNY at Buffalo, Amherst, NY 14261, (716) 645-2722 ext 24,

Galina Rogova, Ph.D., Calspan University at Buffalo Research Center, Buffalo, NY 14225

Abstract. This paper reports on the design and development of a library of modeling tools dubbed "ITS Options Analysis Model" (ITSOAM) to evaluate the merit of ITS deployment elements within a benefits-cost framework. ITSOAM is designed as a sketch planning tool to meet the diversity of needs of New York State ITS coordinators in their economic assessment of expected user and operational benefits imputable to specific ITS elements in specific corridors. It is intended as a system assisting engineers and planners in screening worthy ITS deployments. The paper presents the general modeling philosophy and framework of ITSOAM, with a particular emphasis on the evaluation of basic information dissemination by variable message signs.

INTRODUCTION Many State Departments of Transportation have embraced Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies for offering alternative strategies to achieving their programmatic goals. As early as 1992, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) established a "Policy for the Application of IVHS in New York State" (1). In this policy statement, NYSDOT pledges to "encourage the development and implementation of technological solutions to known or predicted transportation problems, provided these technological solutions are cost-effective and consistent with the Department's program goals" (p. 2). The Department's policy was visionary in more ways than one. It foresaw the need to "institutionalize IVHS thinking throughout the Department and to have consideration of IVHS technologies become a fundamental project development activity" (p. 5). The interweaving of ITS considerations into the transportation program development process is also the


6. 9) heralding the remarkable payoffs of investments in ITS technology extrapolated from a handful of operational tests. emphasis is shifting away from technological implementation issues toward market and user acceptance. 3 . Simultaneously.cornerstone of several FHWA-funded initiatives. Capital planning and programming procedures at the New York State Department of Transportation require that projects with an ITS content compete for scarce resources with projects whose approach is in line with the traditional capacity-increase philosophy. time. The ability to conduct options analysis regarding alternative capital investments in new lane capacity versus more efficient use of existing lane capacity as a means of increasing throughput and enhance safety is limited by the benefits evaluation tools and models available to planners. user benefits and integration of ITS approaches with a range of other strategies and programs. ITSOAM is developed as a sketch planning tool to meet the diversity of needs of New York State ITS coordinators in their economic assessment of expected user and operational benefits imputable to specific ITS elements in specific corridors. and the ITS Deployment Analysis System (IDAS) (3. there are equally limited tools and models available to conduct options analysis among different types of ITS technologies. including the ITS Planning Handbook (2). The scarcity of good tools of benefits evaluation of ITS elements for use at the program development and update stage is a known hindrance for ready programming and deployment of new ITS user services. It is intended as a system assisting engineers and planners in screening worthy ITS deployments. As the national ITS program transitions from the phase of operational tests to that of field deployment. In spite of a number of well-publicized studies (5. This paper reports on a research effort lead by the Calspan University at Buffalo Research Center (CUBRC) for the New York State Department of Transportation. fewer resources (data. data on the outcome of operational tests become available to perform analysis of user benefits of ITS services and to assist in making program decisions among competing options. 4). 7. ITS benefits assessment is not a straightforward matter and poses significant challenges. and analyst expertise) need to be mobilized to conduct economic evaluation at lower accuracy. With this objective in mind. This effort aims at developing a library of modeling tools dubbed "ITS Options Analysis Model" (ITSOAM) to evaluate the merit of ITS deployment elements within a benefits-cost framework. 8. Additionally. and within the transportation planning process.

at the corridor. environmental (emission and fuel consumption). • Low input data requirement.e. and QRBCAT (12). rather than on ITS systems components. • Analysis of sensitivity to critical model parameters. only delay. emission. The paper is organized as follows. Within ITSOAM. It rests on the following principles: • Compatibility with evaluation tools and processes used for conventional capital projects at NYSDOT and New York State Metropolitan Planning Organizations. the same modeling strategy also serves to evaluate information collection elements. and fuel cost. When appropriate. The second section describes the taxonomy of ITS elements for which the ITSOAM benefits evaluation environment is developed. safety. while the former works in tandem with full-blown network and demand analyses. sub-region. SCRITS (11). These guiding principles set ITSOAM apart from a few other sketch-planning level tools that are currently operational or under development.The functionality built into ITSOAM evolved from an extensive outreach effort by the study team among ITS stakeholders within NYSDOT. The reader will find detailed description of ITSOAM in (13). four primary benefit groups are quantified: delay. No attempt is made at quantifying other types of benefits. i. This paper presents the general modeling philosophy and framework of ITSOAM. with a particular emphasis on the evaluation of basic information dissemination by variable message signs. • Estimation of benefits at the scale best suited for the planning of ITS elements under consideration. or induced demand. The next three sections present the 4 . Dependence on local deployment conditions and uncertainty regarding the effects of ITS elements can be captured by sensitivity analysis. or elements thereof. temporal diversion. With this in mind. particularly IDAS (3.. or facility-level. operational benefits are quantified. and for some ITS services. safety. ITSOAM does not account for mode shift. ITSOAM must be self-contained and implementable without resorting to a four-step planning model or a traffic simulation model. the latter being basic sketch planning tools. Many other information dissemination services can be evaluated in a similar fashion. As a program development tool. • Evaluation centered on individual ITS market packages (10). 4). • Compatibility with NYSDOT goals. such as rate of traffic diversion in response to variable message signs or incident detection time.

e. phone services). where. all targeted ITS elements are consistent with strategies geared toward the deployment of Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS) or Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS). including speed display boards and parking management systems). This outreach effort identified the ITS elements most likely to be deployed in one or another region of the state. and information kiosks are the primary DOTsupported information dissemination elements that provide information to motorists. Conclusions on this design and development of ITSOAM are drawn in the final section. and when to go) in response to travel conditions brought to their attention. for which the department may need an appropriate evaluation tool. a traffic incident. only highway-oriented ITS elements initiated and supported by the department were considered relevant to the objectives of the project. These elements directly enable motorists to change their travel behavior (whether. As a result. Inputs and outputs of a sample ITSOAM session evaluating the benefits of VMS deployment during a single traffic-disrupting event (i. Furthermore. a schedule and nonrecurrent event.) are provided next. the presentation focuses on the case of VMS deployments. The information content of these elements is provided by 5 ..modeling framework around which ITSOAM is built. the benefits evaluation system is articulated around the dominant informational functionality of each targeted ITS element. TAXONOMY OF ITS ELEMENTS TO BE EVALUATED Interview Process Interviews with NYSDOT regional ITS coordinators and selected transportation planners from various parts of the state were conducted to establish the baseline situation of ITS deployment in each NYSDOT Region as well as to elicit regional priorities for future ITS deployments. Information Dissemination Elements Variable message signs (VMS. fax reports. Information about traffic and travel conditions being the cornerstone of ITS. highway advisory radio (HAR). either information dissemination or information collection. Vehicle-based ATIS market packages fall beyond the department's planning scope. commercial television and radio. For sake of brevity. non-subscription information services (world wide web. etc.

and nonsubscription information services. in turn.. the information is collected. traffic control and emergency management officers. and others. but often prior to the start of a trip. Travel services information. or to adjust departure time. The evaluated elements 1 Cellular phone services are a notable exception in this matter. • • Information about facilities (e. Dissemination elements that require a subscription or are established by private entities are only considered in this modeling framework to the extent that they interact. In ITSOAM. or the route followed. such as traffic density. Only information dissemination elements put in place by the Department of Transportation are evaluated. such as with speed display boards. and prepares the information for dissemination to actual and potential travelers. which is then disseminated to travelers. stored and consumed locally. On the other hand.the information collection elements to the traffic management center (TMC) which. information provided by VMS and HAR is typically real time. It is also received and used by all motorists. irrespective of their travel purpose. parking lots). which are disseminated by VMS. This information is disseminated primarily by VMS. we consider three distinct types of information provided through these elements: • Road condition information. In some instances.g. HAR. processes. From an informational perspective. 6 . or operate along with DOTestablished elements. Non-subscription information services are also used by all travelers. Information Collection Elements Information collection elements provide information to the TMC.1 The pre-trip information received may lead the traveler to reconsider the decision to travel. without any intervention of the TMC. expected delay. analyzes. the major difference between kiosks and the other information dissemination elements resides in kiosks usually providing non-real-time information or wide area realtime information (e. mode of transportation. weather condition in a multi-county region) and being used by motorists with limited familiarity with the area (non-commuters).g. which is available through kiosks and may also include elements of road condition information. incident or hazardous driving conditions downstream.

inductive loops and other traffic detection devices (sonic systems. it is desirable to consider the case of each ITS elements separately. by detecting incidents. ITSOAM implements the heuristic model proposed in (14) to statistically estimate the combined benefits of a system deployment. weather sensors. they also receive information captured by others sources and processed by the emergency management center. interactions between elements can be captured and double-counting errors minimized. in addition. magnetic systems. While benefits evaluation is aimed at supporting decisions to deploy systems consisting of multiple elements (say. etc.include closed circuit television (CCTV). Other Elements Several targeted elements build on the functionality of information collection and dissemination elements to enhance systems performance and efficiency. weigh-in-motion scales operate rather independently from other ITS elements. Finally. System Structure The information flow diagram for the elements to be evaluated is presented in Figure 1. Each of the ITS elements mentioned above generates benefits. HELP services play a more complex role in the overall system: while roving HELP response vehicles are a key component of an incident management strategy and. Ramp metering and adaptive traffic control systems incorporate real-time traffic condition information for traffic management on freeway and arterial systems. incident detection algorithms. and evaluate its benefits independently of other elements. With a clear understanding of the relationship between all the elements to be affected by this particular deployment. HELP directly impacts system efficiency by reducing the duration of traffic disruptions. an incident management system or a traffic management center). and highway emergency local patrols (HELP).). 7 . serve as information collection units. vehicle probes.

non-commuters. traffic composition (commuters. commercial vehicles).e. historical data about parameters of travel on the network. There are three types of input information required for benefits models: 1. GENERIC BENEFITS EVALUATION MODEL The generic benefits evaluation model on which ITSOAM is built is presented in Figure 2. average number of incidents. etc. number of lanes. characteristics of different categories of delay. Domain knowledge information contains data related to institutional (i. Domain knowledge information.VMS Inductive loops and other sensors sensorssensors CCTV Vehicle probes Weather sensors / RWIS WIM EMC Commuters HAR Non-subscription information services Infokiosks TMC Noncommuters Traffic control system • • Ramp metering Traffic signal coordination HELP Figure 1. DOT) databases and standard DOT notions such as road network. roadway capacity. The latter include travel time.. 8 . Information Flow Diagram. information on different categories of incidents.

Variables may include others baseline information that may be 9 . their use. an analysis of sensitivity of the model results to the assumed values is recommended.Variables Parameters • • Domain knowledge information Constants BENEFITS EVALUATION MODEL Benefits Figure 2. an clearance times. response. Because of the uncertainty inherent to a number of constants (questionable reliability of information sources. among others. ITSOAM uses average values compiled from the relevant literature on simulation and operational test results. therefore. market penetration. Parameters characterize the ITS elements to be deployed. Constants. inconsistencies among information sources). Variables are defined interactively by the user of the model during the evaluation session. Variables. In many cases. 3. due to the absence of real simulation efforts. 2. it is necessary to secure data pertaining to circumstances similar to those of the planned deployment. the reduction in incident detection. This type of model input contains the technical specifications of the ITS element being evaluated (control parameters. Transferability of these values to other settings may be questionable and. and perception by travelers as well as their interaction with the rest of the transportation system. hereafter). Benefits Evaluation Model Information Flow. Such constants include the number of travelers willing to divert as a result of information obtained from VMS and/or HAR.

hazardous material spill. Six main instances can be identified. Scheduled recurrent event (major road construction): MI = 5. etc.available from any data collection elements. EVALUATION OF VMS ELEMENTS Taxonomy of VMS Activation Circumstances Variable message signs may be used in a variety of situations. truck inspection and weigh stations. each one with its own control parameter MI : • • • • • • Non-recurrent events related to incidents on or around the roadway ( MI = 1). vehicle disablements or crashes. football game. ramp metering. followed by a demonstration of a sample evaluation session with ITSOAM. lane control signs): MI = 6. Data inputs are either default values stored in the application’s database or information supplied interactively by the user through dialog boxes. Scheduled non-recurrent events with capacity reduction (short road constructions): MI = 2. Environmental problems due to hazardous weather conditions (heavy fog. All other facility-related VMSs primarily generate safety benefits by alerting motorists that they are in the vicinity of a facility that changes traffic conditions. speed display boards. lake effect snow. type of information transmitted by information dissemination elements. 10 . Facilities related VMS (automated parking management system. Scheduled non-recurrent events with no capacity reduction (special event traffic --fair. Incidents may include breakdowns. Only automated parking management systems and speed display boards are explicitly evaluated in ITSOAM. notification of approach to toll gates. all of which involve the display of real-time information for the benefit of motorists. The rest of this paper will provide a brief overview of the model design for a specific deployment of VMS elements. parking facilities. etc.): MI = 3. etc. The benefits evaluation model is a modular Windows-based application programmed in Visual Basic. etc): MI = 4.

Instance 5 describes scheduled.g.. “take next exit”).. speed display boards) can create benefits through incident reduction by alerting drivers or improving conditions of commercial vehicles (CV). one lane is blocked”. 11 . Traffic conditions developing in connection with non-recurrent events are captured by instance 1 in the above list. expected length of delay) has been found to influence drivers' en route diversion behavior (16. The control parameters are interpreted as follows. 18. road construction or special event. which is one of the key mechanisms through which user benefits are materialize. “incident ahead.). “incident ahead”.These benefits are hard to quantify. emission and fuel consumption benefits. 17. “incident ahead. “congestion ahead”. Accordingly. 1 hour delay”. • MT = 3: The VMS message consists in detailed prescriptive information on traffic congestion (e.. e. recurrent traffic disturbances.. • MT = 1: VMSs provide limited descriptive information on traffic congestion (e. alternative route time is T minutes”). the first four instances are very similar. 7. Interestingly from an operational perspective.g. Others (e. 19). 8. The information content of messages displayed on VMSs (particularly. They boil down to variations of the same core modeling framework outlined below. and are best treated as qualitative elements in a benefit-cost evaluation. 15). which in turns may generate safety.g. VMS associated with ramp metering or weigh stations. etc. each version of the VMS evaluation algorithm incorporates the control parameter MT defining the information content of the VMS messages: MT = 1 to 5. An overview of measured benefits of field operational tests and other ITS deployments entailing VMS elements is available in (6. Message of this sort may be displayed in the case of non-recurrent congestion caused by an incident or a planned event. Some of these VMS elements can create benefits by diverting motorists to alternate routes and easing congestion. • MT = 2: The informational content of the posted message is enhanced with a more detailed description of the magnitude of the traffic disruption downstream (e. Advanced parking management systems and speed display boards are the two types of facility-related VMSs evaluated in this study. possible alternative routes available.g. Conditions created by non-recurrent and unscheduled events are represented by instances 2-4. Primary benefits are then expected to involve a reduction of delay. “incident ahead.g.

benefits are first estimated for a single event responsible for the disruption of normal traffic operations. These messages may be personalized to increase response and compliance.• MT = 4: Speed advisory messages are displayed on the VMS to bring motorists to adjust their speed to the local traffic conditions. various combinations of control parameters MI and MT produce multiple cases that are treated in ITSOAM. such parking space availability. This event is an incident when MI = 1. short-term roadway work when MI = 2. Forecast of benefits over an extended planning horizon can be obtained 12 . Other deployment cases from Table 1 require rather different models that are described in (13). In ITSOAM. by Control Parameters MI and MT . the model design for benefits evaluation of VMS deployments such that MI = 1 to 3 and MT = 1 to 3 is outlined. or a special event when MI = 3. MT MI 1 4 4 4 2 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 4 4 4 - - - Table 1. As indicated in Table 1. MODEL DESIGN FOR INFORMATION DISSEMINATION ELEMENTS Overall Design In this section. • MT = 5: Other traffic operations information is posted on the VMS. VMS Deployments Evaluated in ITSOAM.

Specific measures of effectiveness are built into each model. and Environmental Models. 9). with the National ITS Architecture Benefits Study (21). Safety. this model serves to predict key measures of traffic operation before and after deployment (speed and volume) for input in the safety and environmental models. The logical sequence of the three evaluation models is reported in Figure 3. The role of the delay model in ITSOAM is twofold: it estimates a delay-related measure of effectiveness. in addition. and with field evaluations of VMS deployments (5. Each model compares the before and after deployment situations and imputes to the VMS being evaluated any changes that may be applying the proper expansion factors to the single-event estimates. This approach is in line with other evaluation modeling efforts (for instance (11)). and environmental (emission and fuel consumption) benefits are quantified. 7. No attempt is made at quantifying other types of benefits. safety. Expansion factors are estimated from the historical database of parameters and constants (20). This allows for the derivation of annual benefits from event-based estimates. 13 . 8. 6. delay. Delay Model Safety Model Emission and Fuel Consumption Models Figure 3. For the sake of consistency with established NYSDOT programming goals and procedures. Logical Links between Delay.

28. Queue delay is computed with a deterministic queue model similar to queuing diagrams used in many incident delay studies and evaluations of incident management programs (26. The traversal time of motorists over the affected freeway section is described by a standard. Individual travel time in the impacted corridor is modeled with the following four components: • • The traversal time on the portion of the freeway with reduced capacity and/or flow increase. Overall delay is defined as the aggregate increase in travel time resulting from the capacity reduction and/or flow increase. travel timetraffic flow relationship. By varying this diversion rate upward to represent a stronger response of motorists to posted messages. and • A delay associated with the decision to exit the highway corridor upstream of the incident location and to divert to an alternate route (diversion time). The delay model is discussed in full detail in (21). while aggregate diversion time goes up. This framework is sketched in Figure 4. Similarly for the travel time of diverted traffic on alternate routes.Delay Model The benefit metric selected to quantify the performance of VMS deployment on the congestion reduction and mobility goal is the change in overall user delay on the impacted corridor before and after VMS deployment. This delay is calculated as a function of the current traffic flow on the freeway and of the merging capacity. • A delay associated with the dissipation of vehicle queues formed upstream of the incident location (queue delay). The computation of the merge delay is based on the model developed for ramp design (23. 24). non-linear. A brief overview is provided here. the first three components of delay are adjusted down. 14 . A delay associated with the merging of traffic on blocked lanes (if any) with traffic traveling on free lanes (merge delay). 27. 29). A critical parameter of the model is the rate at which motorists exit the impacted freeway ahead of the traffic disruption and follow an alternate route.

Many studies have been conducted to establish the relationship between accident occurrence and roadway parameters.. geometry. number 15 . number of lanes. Safety Model Safety benefits produced by VMS deployment are measured by the economic value imputable to the reduction of the number of secondary and/or primary accidents on the impacted corridor. 31). it depends on the road characteristics (e. The form of the relationship between accident rate and traffic volume is different for freeways and arterials. VMS Delay Modeling Framework. It has been found that traffic volume is a significant factor in predicting accident rates (30. key inputs of the safety model are estimated by the delay model. Because accidents are traffic-related events.B A S E L I N E Overall Travel Time without Capacity reduction (TTNb) Overall Travel Time without VMS (TTb) • traversal time • merge delay • queue delay • diversion time D E P V L M O S Y M E N T Overall Travel Time without Capacity reduction (TTNvms) Overall Travel Time without VMS (TTvms) • traversal time • merge delay • queue delay • diversion time Overall Delay (TTb) Overall Delay (TTvms) Benefits: • Value of time saved Figure 4.g.

reduced congestion at the incident site (secondary accidents) . Since the accident rate depends directly on the traffic flow characteristics. With traffic volumes on main and alternate routes generated by the delay model. The framework of the model is depicted in Figure 5. etc. every ITS element that can reduce traffic concentration.of traffic lights.reduced congestion at the construction/planned event site due to faster dissipation of residual queues Vehicle Miles Traveled .increased VMT due to switch to longer travel on alternate routes Table 2.reduced congestion at the construction/planned event site . the safety benefits model estimates the expected number of 16 . Table 2 summarizes the processes triggering changes in the number of accidents.reduced congestion at the incident site due to faster dissipation of residual queues (secondary accidents) . or duration of hazardous road conditions can provide safety benefits.increased congestion on alternate roads . VMT. Reduction of the number of accidents occurring during an event disrupting traffic operations may be due to: • • • reduction of accident rate reduction of accident duration reduction of VMT.). road surface.switch to the lower class alternatives Accident Duration . Sources of Reduction in the Number of Accidents in Presence of Information Dissemination Services. Accident Rate .

Safety Model • • • Traffic flow on impacted corridor Traffic flow on alternate route Aggregate cost of accidents Delay Model By-products • • Safety Constants Average comprehensive cost of accidents.primary/secondary accidents by severity (fatality. injury. Framework of the Safety Benefits Model. Delay Model Components Traversal time Merge delay Queue delay Diversion time • • • • • Infrastructure and Behavioral Parameters Length of main corridor Length of diversion route Diversion rate Accident rate Etc. 17 . Economic valuation is obtained by applying average accident cost factors. property damage only) on main and alternate routes. by type Figure 5. by accident type Frequency distribution of accidents.

The last metric is consistent with the objective of fuel waste reduction. This effect runs contrary to that of traffic speed. Reduction of fuel consumption among users and would-be users of the highway facility on which VMS deployment is evaluated. 18 . In addition. VMS deployment may therefore result in a net increase in vehicle emission and fuel consumption under certain conditions. Reduction of CO emission. The framework of the model is depicted in Figure 6. the environmental benefits model follows the general structure of the delay model. Reduction of NOx emission. Emission and fuel consumption of a vehicle are highly dependent on its mode of operation on a given trip. speed characteristics and congestion. The first three metrics correspond to the DOT goal of reduction of the environmental impacts of surface transportation. VMS may result in an increase in VMT because of the traffic diversion that is induced by delay-related advisory messages. It is consistent with the general principles outlined in (32). and change of VMT. including change of traffic speed mean and speed variation. and consequently to bring a reduction in vehicle emission and fuel consumption. Reduction of harmful vehicle emission and fuel consumption can be linked in any of several causes. VMS is expected to reduce congestion and unsteady traffic.Environmental Benefits Model Emission and fuel consumption benefits produced by the deployment of information dissemination elements are measured by: • • • • Reduction of VOC emission. congested or slowed traffic leads to higher levels of emissions and higher fuel consumption. Stop-and-go conditions typical of unsteady. Since vehicle emission and fuel consumption are directly related to traffic conditions.

Delay Model Components Traversal time Merge delay Queue delay Diversion time • • • • Infrastructure and Behavioral Parameters Length of main corridor Length of diversion route Diversion rate Etc. Framework of the Environmental Benefits Model. CO emission factors Fuel consumption factors VOC. The diversion rate serves to capture the route choice effects of VMS. Emission and Fuel Consumption Models • • Traffic speed on diversion route Queue delay Environmental Constants Traffic speed at merging point Traffic speed on main corridor Delay Model By-products • • VOC. The modeling framework used in ITSOAM is sensitive to the type of technology implemented through several parameters. As indicated in the delay reduction model. NOx. The macro structure of the model does not allow for change in this rate in response to 19 . motorist response to VMS devices is evidenced through the rate at which motorists exit the main corridor to follow an alternate route. CO emissions Fuel consumption Figure 6. but also to the response of motorists to ITS deployment. NOx.

These factors are generated by a customized version of EPA's MOBILE 5B model for NYSDOT's Environmental Analysis Bureau. The user may choose to evaluate benefits for a single value of the diversion rate or to conduct an analysis of sensitivity of the results of the model to the value assumed for this critical parameter. if a comparative analysis is performed. SAMPLE ITSOAM EVALUATION SESSION Let us consider the deployment of VMS on a freeway corridor and assess the delay. Figure 7 depicts the four windows in which the user may interactively specify the scenario to be evaluated. A hypothetical scenario is set up here to illustrate the functionality of the ITSOAM evaluation tool. The latter option is illustrated here. safety. so that transition between modes of vehicle operation and their impact on emission and fuel consumption cannot be apprehended in detail. ITSOAM contains many recommended default values. but the user is free to override them to better capture the local situation under evaluation. the modeling approach requires inputs pertaining to emission factors and fuel consumption rates. See Figures 8 and 9. and environmental benefits accrued as a result of this deployment in case of an incident on the freeway.changing traffic conditions. Simulation of each individual vehicle is also beyond the capability of this model. as well as the estimated benefits for a single value of the diversion rate or for values within the range specified by the user. It produces a series of curves displaying benefits as a function of the diversion rate. 20 . however. As indicated in Figure 6. Emission factors are estimated as a function of average traffic speed by county and facility type. A standard output of ITSOAM is a text file reproducing all the input data of the evaluation session.

Sample Data Input Screens of ITSOAM for modeling benefits during a Single Non-Recurrent Event. 21 .Figure 7.

22 . Sample Output of ITSOAM: Delay Reduction Benefits for a Single Incident Event.Figure 8.

23 . Sample Output of ITSOAM: Safety. Emission and Fuel Consumption Benefits for a Single Incident Event.Figure 9.

CONCLUSION This paper reported on the design and development of a library of modeling tools dubbed "ITS Options Analysis Model" (ITSOAM) for evaluation of the merit of ITS deployment elements within a benefitscost framework. ITSOAM is expected to enhance the capability of NYSDOT engineers in selecting the ITS elements with the highest return on investment in each NYSDOT region. The ITSOAM approach combines user-friendliness and limited data requirements with a robust modular modeling environment. 24 . with a particular emphasis on the evaluation of basic information dissemination by variable message signs. safety and environmental benefits of ITS services for the sake of compatibility with current NYSDOT evaluation procedures. It is intended as a system assisting engineers and planners in screening worthy ITS deployments. ITSOAM is designed as a sketch planning tool to meet the diversity of needs of New York State ITS coordinators in their economic assessment of expected user and operational benefits imputable to specific ITS elements in specific corridors. It emphasizes the quantitative evaluation of delay. This planning tool will also help in creating a leveled plain field between conventional capital improvement projects and projects involving ITS deployment by enabling a more solid justification of expected benefits within the current goal-oriented decision process of the department. The paper presented the general modeling philosophy and framework of ITSOAM.

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