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Status of TMIP Peer Reviews - North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT)

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Location Date Exchange Host Agency Peer Review Panelists
Raleigh, North Carolina February 10-11, 2004 North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), Transportation Planning Branch Ken Cervenka, North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG)
Kuo-Ann Chiao, New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC)
Berry Ives, Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments (Mid-Region COG)
Danny Lamb, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
Guy Rousseau, Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC)

Disclaimer

The content of this peer review report does not represent the opinions of FHWA nor does it constitute an endorsement, recommendation or specification by FHWA. The content of the report does not determine or advocate a policy decision/directive or make specific recommendations regarding future research initiatives. The report is based solely on discussions and comments during the peer review.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

The following report summarizes the results of a Peer Review Panel held through the Travel Model Improvement Program (TMIP), which is sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Transportation Planning Branch (TPB) hosted the two-day Peer Review. The primary focus of the Peer Review was to provide NCDOT with an independent assessment of its travel demand modeling system and to compare the model with industry standards.

The Peer Review session focused on six main issues: organizational, data (e.g., socioeconomic, travel survey), trip generation, trip distribution, mode choice and assignment, and calibration/validation issues. After joint discussions between NCDOT staff and peer experts, the Peer Panel prepared a summary of recommendations for the following categories:

After preparing the recommendations in a closed session, the Peer Panelists presented their feedback to NCDOT staff for further clarification and discussion. The findings of both the intermediary discussions and final recommendations are summarized within the ensuing report.

Participants in the Peer Review included transportation model experts from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC), North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments (Mid-Region COG), FHWA headquarters, and the Volpe Center. The Peer Review was held February 10 through February 11, 2004 at the NCDOT offices in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Background

NCDOT has traditionally been a progressive leader within the modeling world. Since the 1990s, NCDOT has shifted from developing travel models exclusively for MPOs and trend line analyses for all other areas, to developing travel demand models for most areas in the State. The increased demand for completed studies and travel demand models has posed a new challenge to NCDOT's Transportation Planning Branch (TPB). The challenge has been further exacerbated with the loss of knowledgeable staff.

The state underwent a formal evaluation of different platforms such as EMME2 and TP+, but determined that TransCAD would best fit North Carolina's modeling needs. The main challenge for NCDOT is the diverse set of users. While other packages may have been more robust, NCDOT found TransCAD to be the most user-friendly for less experienced modelers. Additionally, the GIS component and scripting capabilities that could transfer with GIS were recognized to be both beneficial and desirable for current and future modeling practices. All new (outdated base year or completely new) models are developed with TransCAD, while existing models are being converted to TransCAD as needed.

While almost 80 percent of the roads in North Carolina are owned, operated and maintained by NCDOT, no statewide model is currently in place. NCDOT is responsible for three regional models: Metrolina, which is the largest regional model that covers ten counties and four MPOs; Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill (Triangle) that covers five counties; and the Triad, which includes four counties. A variety of trip generation and loading techniques are currently used. NCDOT has begun a "sketch planning" methodology for all areas with a population under 8,000, called the Hand Allocation Methodology. This methodology involves developing a travel demand model, but relies on the application of traffic flow theories and concepts, and the use of volume trends, roadway capacities, and basic socio-economic data. The Hand Allocation Methodology as helps to train people on flow theories which ultimately need to be understood to develop travel demand models.

NCDOT has demonstrated its commitment to travel demand modeling by creating a new unit dedicated to travel modeling. Tasks of the seven person Model Research and Development Unit are to include:

In addition, the TPB has developed employee workplans, model software tutorials and trainings to foster basic modeling knowledge for each employee in the branch.

The Model Research and Development Unit has begun a preliminary assessment of TPB's modeling processes and outputs. The TMIP panel review was one of the initial steps towards improving the modeling processes. Convening this panel of peer experts would provide feedback on the acceptability of the TPB current processes in relation to industry standards. In particular, NCDOT sought peer input in the following areas:

Presentation and Discussion

A. Peer Panelist Agency Overview

The Peer Review Panel began with panelist presentations on the modeling programs of their respective agencies, including descriptions of the

The overviews are summarized below.

1. North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG)
Ken Cervenka

NCTCOG serves as the regional planning agency for a 16-county area and the MPO for a 5,000 square-mile nine-county area.. The transportation department is organized into six program areas:

The Information Systems area oversees the development, maintenance and support of the travel demand forecasting tools, management of transportation data and vehicle operations.

NCTCOG current uses three travel model software packages1. The mainframe-based regional multimodal model has been developed as a series of FORTRAN Programs, while TRANPLAN is used for subarea traffic modeling. NCTCOG has gradually migrated to a four-step TransCAD-based modeling process over the last year. The NCTCOG TransCAD model retains 4874 zones for all the modeling steps, from trip generation to assignment, in which the trip tables have 23.8 million zone-to-zone pairs. The year 2025 model includes over 36,000 coded roadway links, 22,000 network nodes, 410 coded one-way bus lines, 36 rail lines, 14,500 bus stops and 171 rail stations for the NCTCOG region.

1 For more detailed model description, see http://www.dfwinfo.com/trans/program_areas/travel_forecasting.html.

With the TransCAD model now developed, Mr. Cervenka identified a series of future steps that need to be made at NCTCOG. While the full TransCAD model is in place at the agency, the model has not been fully transferred to staff for all model applications work because of the need to continue legacy applications and limitations on current staff capability. NCTCOG seeks to train both in-house transportation planning staff, and planning staff from other agencies to better understand the development and operation of the TransCAD model. In particular, NCTCOG desires to train several "TransCAD model application champions" who have a strong understanding of GIS and travel model theory, are experienced in working directly with TransCAD, and can spend the majority of their professional time on model applications projects.

In addition to a high priority on training, NCTCOG will also concentrate efforts on the preparation of additional roadway/transit "supply and demand" performance reports and the documentation of the four-step modeling process. Mr. Cervenka noted that the documentation will be crucial, as it will include a description of the model components and how they operate, as well as a detailed description of the reasoning behind how the model works. Additional next steps include ongoing improvements to the modeling procedures, greater coordination with TxDOT on the Statewide Analysis Model, and use of traffic microsimulation for detailed vehicle operations analysis.

2. Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC)
Guy Rousseau

ARC is the MPO for the Atlanta region, and is responsible for a 10-county planning area. The 2000 Atlanta region Urbanized Area Boundaries (UAB) however, include 19 counties, 13 of which were classified by the Clean Air Act Amendment to be in Serious Ozone Nonattainment. The ARC jurisdiction will likely expand to include 18 counties in the near future. 20 counties are proposed for an 8-hour nonattainment area. With a population of 2.0 million in 1980 projected to grow to 6.0 million by 2030, and a corresponding rise in employment from 1.2 million to 4.2 million, the greatest challenge confronting Atlanta is growth.

The ARC transportation planning department is divided into

The Travel Demand Modeling Team consists of one model development and applications program manager and five planners who are responsible for highway and transit network coding, surveys and studies, database implementation, GIS-T, Census and socio-economic (SE) data, performance measures, and development of regional impact (DRI).

ARC generates its travel demand forecasts through the traditional four-step process. The process begins with various pre-processors. As part of its pre-processing step, ARC conducts pen sketches of the highway network, then codes the sketches with TP+. ARC first builds the highway network, then processes the feedback loops, makes transit assignments, and finally makes time of day assignments. After the four steps are complete, ARC also conducts a variety of post-processors. (See Figure 1 below).

Figure 1: ARC 4-Step Process
Figure 1: ARC 4-Step Process
Source: ARC TMIP presentation at NCDOT, February 11, 2004.

The ARC land use forecasts are the result of a two-step process. First, ARC produces a forecast for the entire 13-county area using the Interactive Population and Econometric Forecasting (IPEF) model. This large area forecast is then disaggregated into smaller areas using the Disaggregate Residential Allocation Model/Employment Allocation (DRAM/EMPAL).

ARC recently convened a TMIP Peer Review Panel to study its current modeling processes and to identify areas for improvement. Mr. Rousseau indicated that the primary activities to be conducted in the near future include the following:

In the longer-term, ARC has hired consultants to research prospects for conversion to an Activity/Tour-based Model.

3. New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC)
Kuo-Ann Chiao

NYMTC is the MPO for the New York Region, including 28 counties in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. NYMTC has established a 50 person model user group that meets monthly. Each month's meeting focuses on a particular modeling theme, and is hosted by a different consultant in a different location. The monthly meeting provides NYMTC with the opportunity to disseminate information about the latest patch and any new documentation on the latest developments in the model. The consultants use the opportunity to describe various applications of the model to other users.

NYMTC has developed the Best Practice Model (NYBPM) 2 to determine future travel patterns resulting from changes in demographic profiles and transportation systems in the region. The model is a GIS-based model using TransCAD as the platform. Key features of NYMTC's BPM include:

2 For more model description details, see http://www.nymtc.org/BPM/bpmindex.html.

The study area is comprised of 3,500 transportation analysis zones. The highway network model incorporates all types of road facilities, starting with minor arterials. The transit network database represents all types of public transportation at the individual route level. The majority of data comes from a major household travel survey conducted in 1997, land-use inventories, socioeconomic data, traffic and transit counts, and travel times.

Figure 2: NYMTC Best Practice Model
Figure 2: NYMTC Best Practice Model
Source: http://www.nymtc.org/BPM/bpmmodel.html

Mr. Chiao indicated that NYMTC would like to concentrate future model development work on the integration of their land use model, which has already been calibrated, with their travel model. Additionally, NYMTC is investigating more web-based application options for running the model.

4. Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
Danny Lamb

The FDOT Systems Traffic Modeling Section provides technical guidance, training and assistance on modeling to the districts, MPOs, cities, counties and other government agencies in Florida. Representatives from these various agencies coordinate with the Systems Traffic Modeling Section to establish standards, procedures and the future direction for the development and use of traffic models within the state.

FDOT established the Florida Standard Urban Transportation Model Structure (FSUTMS) 3 to provide formal guidelines, standard procedures, datasets and definitions for travel demand forecasting throughout the state of Florida. All but two of the MPOs in Florida are single county MPOs that have developed separate traffic models. Florida also has seven regional models and two statewide models.

3 For more model description details, see http://www.fsutmsonline.net/index.php?/site/directory/modeling_research.

5. Mid-Region Council of Governments (Mid-Region COG)
Berry Ives

The Mid-Region COG, which is the MPO for the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, covers 9,700 square miles in five counties. Most of the population of 800,000 is within the travel modeling area, and the population is expected to grow to about 1.1 million by 2025. The core urban area is currently transitioning from a carbon monoxide (CO) Maintenance area to a Limited Maintenance area, but with ozone problems on the horizon. Most of the travel modeling is done by two planners, although much of the socioeconomic data preparation is done by additional staff, including a full time demographer and a programmer analyst. MRCOG manages the traffic counting for the region, and counts every traffic section in the region on a 3-year cycle, as well as counting turn movements on over 500 intersections for the City of Albuquerque.

The travel model includes nested logit mode choice with feedback of congested travel time to trip distribution (6 iterations). BPR functions are used in the equilibrium assignment (up to 70 iterations). Trip tables for nonmotorized modes including walk and bike are estimated in the model, although they are not assigned to a network. Transit modes include walk access and drive access (both park-and-ride and kiss-and-ride). A consultant is currently working on an accessibility model which will hopefully evolve into an improved method of estimating walk access to transit.

Currently, the modeling software is emme/2, although trip generation, park and ride, and mode choice are performed using C programs. Network building and post processing of emme/2 databanks is facilitated with M2Probe, an Arcview-based software. MRCOG is investigating alternative travel model software.

Long range population control totals are forecasted for all the counties of the state by University of New Mexico Bureau of Business & Economic Research, using a cohort-survival-migration model. MRCOG produces long range employment forecasts using REMI, and assures consistency with population controls. TAZ level travel model inputs are generated with the help of a land use analysis model (LAM).

B. North Carolina Department of Transportation

Mike Bruff, Rhett Fussell, Dan Thomas, Tim Padgett, Leta Huntsinger

The staff of the Transportation Planning Branch at NCDOT presented information and facilitated discussion about organizational issues and specific components of the travel modeling process. The following section summarizes the main highlights of the presentations, questions, and relevant discussion points.

1. Organizational Issues

The state of North Carolina currently houses 17 MPOs that serve populations ranging from 50,000 to over 200,000. North Carolina state legislation enabled the development of Rural Planning Organizations (RPO) to represent any area having three counties or more that also has a population over 50,000 but that is not included within the jurisdiction of a MPO.

The NCDOT TPB staff members are responsible for most of the planning and modeling efforts for the MPOs and RPOs located in their assigned geographic area.

The NCDOT TPB is divided into the following groups:

The Technical Services Group is responsible for all traffic forecasts.

Figure 3: NCDOT Planning Areas
Figure 3: NCDOT Planning Areas
Source: NC DOT TMIP Peer Review Presentation, February 11, 2004.

Because many of the MPOs do not have full time staff dedicated to travel modeling, NCDOT staff are called upon to provide their technical modeling expertise to varying degrees. For the Triad regional model, NCDOT carries primary modeling responsibility. For the Triangle regional model, however, the Triangle Service Bureau, housed at North Carolina State University's Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE), partners with NCDOT and its other planning partners in the development of the model. In addition to assisting MPOs with their modeling efforts, NCDOT staff develop comprehensive transportation plans for all areas that serve populations that range from 3,000 to 50,000.

The varied level of modeling and planning responsibility of the Transportation Planning Branch is exacerbated by decreasing staff capacity. The Branch is losing many of its experienced modeling staff to management positions, the private sector, or other career changes.

NCDOT generated a variety of organizational questions to be addressed:

The panelists agreed that the key to addressing the issue of an appropriate staffing mix is to maintain a core of modeling specialists who can then be dispatched to assist the generalists with any specific questions or issues that could arise. While one panelist suggested better utilizing University Transportation Center resources, all panelists agreed that NCDOT should consider the use of consultants for modeling expertise. The panel offered the following comments and suggestions regarding small area modeling and the use of consultants:

2. Data Issues

The discussions surrounding data issues focused on socioeconomic (SE) and travel survey data collection. NCDOT performs 100% field surveys of SE data for the smaller models, single class for some of the current models, and cross class for the three regional models. The field surveys are conducted by having individuals drive around to hand count the number of houses and businesses within a given area, and rate/classify them into a trip making category. Some MPOs also utilize this method. NCDOT has found the labor intensive field surveying method to be beneficial for maintaining current data, instead of waiting for a census update. The last surveys conducted by NCDOT for the regional areas were 1995 for the Triangle region, 2001 for Charlotte region and 1994/5 for the Triad region. There are two medium sized MPOs that have surveys being completed presently. No recent surveys available for areas under 50,000 in population.

By relying on MPOs for SE data collection, NCDOT modeling is contingent upon the timing of MPO data collection and data submittals. This dynamic poses a particular challenge when plan updates are scheduled for a specific time frame, yet the modeling updates can not progress without the new data from the regional partners and/or MPOs. NCDOT staff expressed that they are not perceived as having legitimate authority to press MPOs in meeting data deadlines. As a smaller staffed statewide organization, NCDOT has had to utilize cost-effective methods for modeling that larger MPOs may not have had to consider. NCDOT would like to partner with MPOs to conduct more data collection improvements.

NCDOT generated a variety of data questions to be addressed:

The panel offered the following comments and suggestions regarding data collection challenges:

FDOT differentiates between work based nonhome based travel and traditional nonhome based travel. Home based work trips were found to be shorter and include multiple trip links. Additionally, FDOT has used cordon surveys to distinguish between noncompetitive and competitive external-internal (E-I) trips and internal-external (I-E) trips. FDOT categorizes for two types of trips: 1) trips for a special purpose are categorized as noncompetitors for attractions within the model area, because those travelers usually are not familiar enough with an area to consider alternative routes; and 2) residents who have lived in the model area for a certain period of time are categorized as competitors. If trips are made once a week, that trip is considered to be a regular trip and therefore an internal trip. If the trip is less than once a week, then the traditional E-I or I-E trip categorization is made and proportionally distributed across all other attractions. These categorizations have significantly improved the FDOT model.

3. Trip Generation and Distribution

For Trip Generation, NCDOT uses a variety of methods. The housing classification system (field survey), single class using Persons/household and workers/household and cross-classification using primarily persons/household, income, vehicle ownership as the variables. Rates are determined for each of the methods described.

NCDOT uses the gravity model for trip distribution. The TMIP calibration and validation document and FHWA 1990 guide to calibration (yellow book) are major references for NCDOT. Uncongested and congested impedance is broken up by trip purpose. Travel impedance, travel time, and friction factors are generally borrowed from similar models and matched to trip length distribution. This is problematic for smaller areas where no trip length frequency/distance data is available. NCDOT has not really used the Gamma function to generate friction factors.

The unusual development patterns of certain communities within North Carolina may not be well captured within the current model outputs. NCDOT continues to struggle with urban to rural streams and the university communities. The Chapel Hill area emphasizes transit, and insists upon using smaller zonal areas for their model. Yet, the University of North Carolina and associated hospital are large attraction areas that generate trips from outside the smaller zones. The Triangle region has considered using a destination-choice mode because of difficulties with the gravity model. Research Triangle Park is not a central city, but is a research campus that houses the vast majority of higher level jobs in the Triangle area. This causes the model to attract trips from lower income areas to the higher paying jobs. This is one reason for why the Triangle model was thought to be better served by a destination choice type model.

NCDOT generated a variety of data questions to be addressed:

The panel offered the following comments and suggestions regarding trip generation and distribution challenges:

4. Mode Choice

NCDOT has not taken a lead role in transit modeling. The Metrolina, Triangle and Asheville models have incorporated a predictive choice mode into their models. Raleigh has a transit-on-board survey and a nested mode choice model, which includes HOV and commercial vehicles.

Agencies across the state of North Carolina are increasingly becoming interested in gaining the ability to test for transit options within their communities to include in their long range planning efforts. NCDOT created a premium nest for their mode choice model by approximating against a one rail service option within the state.

NCDOT generated a variety of data questions to be addressed:

The panel offered the following comments and suggestions regarding mode choice challenges:

5. Trip Assignment

NCDOT was interested in learning of how each of the peer panelists conducted trip assignment within their regions. The following summarizes the characteristics of the trip assignment methods described by each of the Peer Panelists.

NCTCOG

NYMTC

ARC

FDOT

Mid-Region COG

6. Calibration/Validation

Brief discussion of the data calibration/validation checks that are used in North Carolina. They are outlined in the Model 101 documentation that the TPB produced. They follow the FHWA guidelines in the TMIP Model Validation & Reasonableness Checking Manual.

Calibrating a statewide model for North Carolina would be a difficult because of the variance in peak periods among the three major regions within the state. One panelist suggested that if seasonal fluctuation is confined to one area, worst case scenarios could be modeled simultaneously, followed by the use of an average condition or seasonal adjustment factors to scale down for individual areas. Another panelist suggested getting involved with the National Highway Study and American Community Survey (ACS) in order to validate the model. It was also suggested to have 3 sectional models (that tied back into each other) to represent the three different characteristic areas in the state.

Summary of Panel Recommendations

The following is a summary of the TMIP Modeling peer review recommendations to NCDOT:

A. Strengths of NCDOT Modeling Staff and Approach:

B. General Opportunities, Challenges and Recommendations:

C. Data / Surveys:

D. Trip Generation:

E. Trip Distribution:

F. Mode Choice:

G. Traffic Assignment:

Appendices

List of Participants

Berry Ives, Mid-Region Council of Governments
Beverly Williams, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch
Berry Ives, Mid-Region Council of Governments
Beverly Williams, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch
Brian Gardner, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Dan Thomas, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch
Danny Lamb, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
Esther Lee, U.S. DOT Volpe Center
Guy Rousseau, Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC)
Ken Cervenka, North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG)
Kuo-Ann Chiao, New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC)
Leta Huntsinger, Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE), North Carolina State University
Lydia McIntyre, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch
Mei Ingram, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch
Mike Bruff, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch
Rhett Fussell, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch
Tim Padgett, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch
Brian Gardner, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Dan Thomas, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch
Danny Lamb, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
Esther Lee, U.S. DOT Volpe Center
Guy Rousseau, Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC)
Ken Cervenka, North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG)
Kuo-Ann Chiao, New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC)
Leta Huntsinger, Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE), North Carolina State University
Lydia McIntyre, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch
Mei Ingram, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch
Mike Bruff, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch
Rhett Fussell, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch
Tim Padgett, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch

Agenda

Tuesday February 10th
8:00 am Introductions of Peer Review Panel & NCDOT participants
Expert Panelists- Where from?
Experience in modeling
How organization does modeling
What works well in your modeling program/needs improvement
9:15 am How We All Got Here & Our Panel Goals -(Rhett)
10:00 am- 11:00 am TPB Organizational Structure - (Mike & Dan)
11:00 am - 12:00 pm Modeling Effort, Part 1-Data Issues
SE Data- what data we are collecting/using -(Various)
Travel Survey Data -(Leta)
12:00 pm-1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm-1:30 pm Modeling Effort Part 1-Data Issues (Con't)
Highway Data - (Rhett)
Transit Data- (Leta)
1:30 pm-1:45 pm Questions from Panel on Data Issues Or Organizational Structure
11:45 - 1:00 Lunch
1:45 pm-3:00 pm Modeling Effort Part 2-Trip Generation -(Rhett)
Trip Generation Methodologies for models!
3:00 pm-3:15 pm Break
3:15 pm-3:30 pm Q& A's from panel on Trip Generation
3:30 pm- 5:00 pm Modeling Effort, Part 3-Trip Distribution -(Tim)
Wednesday February 11th
8:00 am - 8:30 am Summary from Tuesday
8:30am-10:00 am TPB Modeling Effort, Part 4-Mode Choice & Assignment -(Leta)
10:00 am-12:00 pm Interactive Dialogue-All panel members (Rhett)
Open Discussion on Other Issues
time of day modeling for all MPOs?
Typical schedules for models?
How do you treat capacity in Equil loading if you have a daily model?
How do others forecast future data?
Manual of best practice-for their areas?
Users groups-statewide are they effective?
Etc...
12-:00 pm - 2:45 pm Lunch / Panel Caucus-closed session to discuss recommendations
2:45pm- 3:00 pm Break
3:00 pm- 5:00 pm Recommendations & Dialogue Session
Panel discusses recommendations
Interactive Dialogue between panel & TPB

Presentations

Travel Demand Modeling at NCTCOG.

The Atlanta Regional Commission Transportation Model.

The Best Practice Model in New York.

NCDOT Organizational Issues.

NCDOT Data Issues.

NCDOT Trip Generation.

NCDOT Calibration/Validation.

For more information about these presentations, please contact the TMIP Moderator.

Questions Posed

What processes are we using that might not be Best Practices in travel demand modeling?

Should we change our housing classification system (how we get data for models) used for our smaller areas? If so, how?

Where should we get housing & employment data instead? What do other areas use?

Should we be building travel demand models for all our areas? or for areas larger than a certain population? What is that threshold?

What other travel demand methods can/should be used in the smaller areas?

Are certain traffic assignment loading techniques better for certain types of areas? What should we be using?

How much field data collection is necessary?

What are typical schedules for developing travel demand models?

Are there checks/balances that we are not performing that should be performed?

Should we be doing time of day modeling for all our MPOs?

Is the gamma function or some other function more widely accepted than friction factors tables in trip distribution?

Should we dedicate more staff to developing travel demand models? Should all our employees be expected to build models or are some just end users?

Are there organizational changes that can facilitate our process?

Free flow vs. posted - rules, pro's/con's; how do we get free flow if we don't have survey information? Is there some way to take posted and make assumptions about free flow speeds for the area?

How do they collect the data for roads?

Maintenance of roadway data?

What roads should be included in network?

What besides Logit for Mode Choice?

How do you determine trip rates assuming no data?

What variables should we be using in Trip Generation?

Our Trip methodologies for smaller urban areas? What to use (single, cross, rating system)?

Capacities - should we use hourly and factor to daily?

LOS E/F capacities for loading o.k.? Use D for V/C?

Non-Home Based by Non Residents - How are they accounted for?

Special Generators - how do they define them, rates for them?

Person trips?/DU trips?/ HH trips - what should we be using?

Assuming you use the gravity how do you get factors (gamma function? - but what are common values-pro/cons for gamma)

How do you determine if trip length is accurate assuming no survey?

Gravity vs destination choice - Why would you want to do destination choice? When?

Recommended loading techniques?

Suggested parameters for stoch equil or other loadings

Should we be loading through trips & commercial using AON then load other trip tables in equilibrium?

Surveys - Why should we be using them? How often? Which surveys help us the most? Benefits to them.

Recommended checks for Calibration/Validation

Should we be doing time of day modeling for all MPOs?

Typical schedules for models?

How do you treat capacity in Equil loading if you have a daily model?

How do others forecast future data?

Is there a manual of best practice-for their areas?

Users groups-statewide are they effective? How setup?

Forecasting of data - best/recommended ways, control totals for State? Regions? MPOs - some guidance here on how its done elsewhere

Specialist vs. Generalist - should we have people doing MPO coordination and then let them be end users? Should we have our specialists build all MPO models, some internally some with consultants? Why is it important for specialists?

Commonality between our regional models - how do/can we get the building of those models to be similar, functioning similar.

Are our Validation/Calibration checks on the model o.k.?

Gamma function - should we use the function for our smaller models with no survey data? What are the general parameters we should use?

Rules of thumb for trip length assuming you have no data?

Updated: 03/28/2014
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