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Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Express Toll Lane Modeling Workshop Peer Review Report

Appendix D Presentation Summaries

As documented in Appendix B, presentations by FDOT staff, contracted consultant support staff and invited national experts dominated most of the workshop agenda. In total, thirteen (13) presentations were delivered to the workshop participants that described FDOT planning requirements, current express toll lane modeling practices in Florida and finally new emerging methods being applied nationally. This section will provide a brief overview of each presentation delivered during the two-day workshop. Note, the actual presentations can be requested by contacting TMIP (feedback@tmip.org).

D.1 mFDOT Policy Requirements

Jennifer Fortunas from the FDOT Systems Planning Office delivered the first presentation of the workshop. Ms. Fortunas described Florida's Transportation Vision for the 21st Century which includes an objective for mobility choices for their customers, with the choice representing either express lane or priced managed lanes. An earlier Managed Lanes Workshop convened in January 2013 was described along with the draft policy statements for feasibility, finance and tolling, concept of operations, TSM&O strategies, and design that resulted from the workshop. The presentation concluded with Ms. Fortunas describing why this Blue Ribbon Panel workshop was convened and FDOTs objectives moving forward:

Transportation Vision for the 21st Century
Creating Choices
Objective Activities Performance Indicators Targets Responsible Party
The department will develop and maintain a system of managed lanes in Florida Complete the FDOT Express lanes Policy Policy Attached 4th Q FY 13 Jennifer Fortunas
Complete the FDOT Express lanes Procedures/Standards Procedure Attached/PPM Updated 2th Q FY 14 Jennifer Fortunas
Complete the FDOT Managed lanes Policy Policy Attached 2th Q FY 14 Jennifer Fortunas
Complete the FDOT Managed lanes Procedures/Standards Procedure Attached/PPM Updated 4th Q FY 14 Jennifer Fortunas
Create and Maintain an FDOT Managed lanes Website/Intranet Sites http://www.floridamanagedlanes.com Active Jennifer Fortunas
Suggested Information for the site
Best Practices
Lessons Learned
Sample Information
Policies,Procedures,links to project sites
* Additional activities should be developed associated with the website
* Provide links between key websites like the Vision 21 and Managed Lanes wutg a goal of information being in one source to avoid duplications

D.2 Workshop Background & Structure

Hugh Miller from CDM Smith gave the next presentation. Mr. Miller described the FDOT project development activities which include a standard set of planning and engineering activities for a project called phases: Planning, PD&E, and Design. He also outlined the traditional planning process activities and the roles and responsibilities of the MPOs, FDOT district offices and the FDOT central office

The remainder of Mr. Miller's presentation focused on express toll lane modeling projects and how they are different and more complex than regular roadway projects because toll rates change throughout the day to manage congestion, express lanes typically located in the median of expressway, and tolls rates influence overall corridor demand as well as the split in demand between the express lanes and the general purpose lanes. Finally, express lane projects require two additional threads of analysis not usually considered in traditional roadway projects: 1) traffic operations and 2) T&R projections.

Mr. Miller concluded his remarks by describing the agenda for the day and how the two-day workshop was to be organized, delivered and structured.

 

Traditional Activities

Traffic Operations

Traffic and Revenue

FDOT

Activities

Issues

Products

Data

Project Planning Studies

Project purpose and need;funding sources and priority;presence in TIP and LRTP

Concept report with tentative project features and planning level cost estimates

Latest version of MPO model

 

 

Project Development and Environmental Studies

Environmental impact;engineering issues and project

Environmental documents;engineering report;and public hearing transcript

Project validated version of MPO model

 

 

Design

Detailed design features

Design package;right of-way; and permits

Same model

 

 

D.3 Use of SERPM for I-95 Express

Ken Kaltenbach from The Corradino Group delivered the third presentation on day-one of the workshop. Mr. Kaltenbach described the modeling analysis and procedures relied upon to study the I-95 Express Lanes project using the Southeast Regional Planning Model (SERPM). Mr. Kaltenbach described the modeling approaches and the project in general which converted two HOV lanes to two HOT lanes in each direction on I-95 in Miami between I-395 and the Golden Glades interchange.

Mr. Kaltenbach indicated the I-95 Express project is generally considered a success and has resulted in FDOTs interest in converting more HOV to HOT facilities. He concluded with some important observations given the recent I-95 Express project experience:

Figure provides a map of the I-95 Managed Lane Corridor in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

D.4 I-95 Express Operations Analysis

David Stroud from Parsons Brinckerhoff presented another example of current FDOT practices using the I-95 Express project as a case study. Mr. Stroud described the analytical approaches relied on to study the operational impacts of the project. Specifically, he presented aspects of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 PD&E and Design phases that were conducted back in 2007. The microsimulation work performed using CORSIM was presented and the importance of express lane access points and weaving segments was emphasized.

Mr. Stourd also provided information on the Phase 3 Planning and PD&E that was performed in 2010. The microsimulation using VISSIM was described along with information about both the pricing model, lane decision model and the overall calibration process.

D.5 Summary of MTF Express Lane Modeling Work Plan

Steve Ruegg from Parsons Brinckerhoff presented the next presentation focusing on current FDOT practices as identified by the Florida Model Task Force (MTF) involving the use of the Florida Standard Urban Transportation Model Structure (FSUTMS). Mr. Ruegg provided background on how FSUTMS has historically handled toll facilities modeling and ramp-to-ramp tolling. He then elaborated on planned FSUTMS model updates and the specific performance goals associated with those improvements which will be specifically tailored to improve toll modeling.

Mr. Ruegg used the remainder of his presentation to introduce the three-phase model improvement concept plan that will be implemented to improve and add new functionality to FSUTMS. Phase 1, 2 and 3 of the concept plan were then described in detail. Mr. Ruegg closed his remarks by posing a number of questions to the workshop panel and participants about policy and guidelines for the use of these improved models for analyzing managed lane projects in general.

D.6 Florida Traffic & Revenue Studies Experience

Josiah Banet from URS and representing the Florida Turnpike Enterprise presented the sixth slideshow on the morning of day-one. Mr. Banet's presentation focused on the current T&R forecasting practices that are relied on within the State of Florida at present. He described the four distinct types of T&R studies: Top-Down, Sketch Level, Planning Level and Investment Grade. Mr. Banet then described each of the four T&R studies by illustrating the differences at each level and how progressing from one level to the next requires more detail, more time and more resources.

A Top-Down study can generally be performed in one month. A Sketch level study relies on the regional travel demand model and can take anywhere from three to six months. Planning level studies require additional data and some operational analyses and therefore can take six to nine months. Finally, Investment Grade level studies include a probability model and incorporate a risk assessment that may take twelve to fifteen months to complete.

D.7 Quantifying Forecasting Risks

Tom Adler from RSG addressed the workshop next and delivered a presentation focused on quantifying the risk associated with forecasting express toll lane utilization and resulting revenue forecasts. Dr. Adler indicated that the three most common sources of inaccuracy include: 1) model structure and data, 2) analysis bias, and 3) inherent uncertainties about the future.

Dr. Adler then described a quantified probability analysis approach that includes two steps: 1) estimating the probability distribution associated with each model uncertainty, and 2) estimating the resulting probability distribution of the model outputs. The key insight from Mr. Adler's work is that response surface methods can be used to develop closed-form models that very effectively estimate the effects of key model inputs on corridor T&R forecasts.

Dr. Adler concluded his presentation by describing how this analytical approach was implemented when performing the Orlando I-4 Traffic & Revenue Study for a twenty-one mile managed lane project that would add two dynamically priced lanes in each direction on I-4.

Figure provides revenue and traffic cumulative probability and frequency curves for year 2045. The median revenue value was $108,891, while the median traffic value was 121,401.

D.8 Priced Managed Lanes National Overview

Jim Ely of HNTB delivered the next presentation which provided a national overview of priced managed lanes. Mr. Ely began by first covering some basic terminology since many different phrases and acronyms for priced managed lanes are often used interchangeably. He then performed a quick national scan and described a few of the most successful price managed lanes projects that have been completed to date including: I-85 in Atlanta, I-95 Express in Miami, I-15 Express in San Diego and I-495 HOT in Washington D.C.

Mr. Ely concluded his presentation by describing the important advantages of price managed lanes and how regions can benefit from their implementation. He also noted some important national lessons learned that should be considered and addressed when initiating any new price managed lane project.

Figure provides a map identifying priced managed lane facilities in operation, priced managed lane facilities in implementation, and priced managed lane studies throughout the contiguous United States.

D.9 Planning for Express Lanes

Eric Pihl from the FHWA delivered the next presentation. Mr. Pihl used his time to discuss and provide an overview of NCHRP Special Report #722 - Assessing Highway Pricing and Tolling. Mr Pihl described the four-step model prototype which is presented in Special Report #722 as a suitable analytical tool and method for pricing studies.

Mr. Pihl used the remainder of his presentation to showcase two recent project case studies in Colorado: E470 and US36. In both cases the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) activity-based regional travel model referred to as Focus was used to study the priced managed corridors. The advanced Focus model has a number of important strengths when used to analyze price managed lanes:

Figure provides a flow chart of forecasting tool development for use in assessing highway pricing and tolling. The chart illustrates processes involved in the general improvement of regional models and specific improvements for pricing study by decision-making stage.

D.10 Operational Methods for Managed-Lane Toll Analysis

John Lewis of Cambridge Systematics delivered the final presentation of the workshop on day-one. Mr. Lewis began his presentation by introducing a generalized modeling framework for the operational analysis of managed toll lanes that includes macroscopic, mesoscopic and microscopic examinations. In general the modeling framework should include an iterative process between the demand model and the operational model with regional diversions represented in the demand model and dynamic route choice algorithms in the microsimulation model used to differentiate the express lane and general purpose lane utilization.

Mr. Lewis then described how this type of framework was used to study E-470 in Colorado and I-405 in Seattle. This part of the presentation included results and a number of visualizations from those particular case study examples.

Mr. Lewis concluded his remarks by noting that experience on SR167 reveals that highest VMT days do not correlate with highest revenue days. This adds uncertainty to calculating annual revenue from daily traffic forecasts and underscores the necessity of quantified risk analyses.

Figure provides a scatted plot of revenue versus vehicle miles traveled rankings for weekdays, and weekends/holidays from a case study of an operational analysis of managed toll lanes.

D.11 How Managed Lanes Can Be Analyzed Using Advanced Travel Demand Models

Tom Rossi of Cambridge Systematics delivered the first presentation of the workshop on day-two. Mr. Rossi began his presentation by describing what traditional trip based regional travel models are capable of with respect to managed lane modeling. He then enumerated the ways in which advanced activity-based regional travel models offer a number of important advantages.

Mr. Rossi concluded his presentation by then describing the elements of activity-based regional travel models which make them particularly well-suited for analyzing express toll lane and price managed lanes.

D.12 Modeling Express Lanes Using Dynamic Traffic Assignment

Yi-Chang Chiu of the University of Arizona delivered the second presentation on day-two of the workshop. To begin his presentation, Dr. Chiu indicated that by relying on dynamic traffic assignment methods to study express toll lanes one is inherently assuming the following: 1) estimating lane demand is a route/departure choice not a mode choice problem, and 2) learning and adaption is part of route choice decisions, instead of instantaneous or reactive route choice behavior.

In the remainder of his presentation Dr. Chiu described the DTA components relied upon for pricing analyses and again presented results and information from the US36 case study in Colorado and emphasized that DTA for express lane analysis provides a critical middle bridge between the macroscopic and microscopic models used to date and when feedback among the models is included. Dr. Chiu concluded his presentation by recommending that DTA offers the right combination of simulation realism and size of network to model many tolling scenarios effectively.

Figure provides an illustration of a spectrum ranging from regional to corridor and static to micro models. The intent of the graphic is to understand the consistency with macro, meso, and micro model integration based on the size of the study area.

D.13 Impact of Congestion Pricing & Travel Time Reliability

Peter Vovsha of Parsons Brinkerhoff presented the final presentation of the workshop. Mr. Vovsha presented the findings of his research team as part of the SHRP2 C04 research project sponsored by TRB. The objective of the project was to develop new mathematical descriptions of the full range of highway user behavioral responses to congestion, travel time reliability, and pricing. This included formatting the mathematical descriptions of behavior so that they could be incorporated into various travel demand modeling systems in use or now being developed. Another objective was to examine network assignment practices needed to support models that simulate behavioral responses to congestion, travel time reliability, and pricing.

Travel demand modeling systems can now reflect how travelers respond to congestion, travel time reliability, and pricing, so that decisions about operational improvements can be based on more realistic models. With better models agencies better understand how operations projects can improve the function of their highway networks.

NOTICE

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange.The United States Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof.

The United States Government does not endorse manufacturers or products. Trade names appear in the document only because they are essential to the content of the report.

The opinions expressed in this report belong to the author and do not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by FHWA.

This report is being distributed through the Travel Model Improvement Program (TMIP).

Updated: 03/28/2014
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