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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-13-026    Date:  March 2014
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-13-026
Date: March 2014


Guidance on The Level of Effort Required to Conduct Traffic Analysis Using Microsimulation

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The Federal Highway Administration, in support of the Traffic Analysis and Simulation Pooled Fund Study, initiated this study to provide guidance for analysts and modeling managers on successfully applying traffic simulation analyses. Currently, State and local agencies face challenges to make proper decisions on transportation improvement projects. The traffic analysis and application of the analysis tools may be limited or improperly scoped, leading to conclusions and decisions that may be compromised. Projects may not be scoped properly due to the complexity of the traffic analysis tools. The level of effort to get the quality output may not be known. As a result, agencies may not sufficiently fund these projects. This report presents systematic ways to determine the appropriate scope and budget for traffic analysis efforts using microsimulation, resulting in better project and program decisions on transportation improvement projects. The target audience for this report includes modeling managers and analysts.

Joseph I. Peters, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Operations
Research and Development


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, policy, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade and manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the object of the document.


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