Simulation Study Estimated a Benefit-Cost Ratio Up to 3.37 for the Buffalo-Niagara Integrated Corridor Management Deployment Due to Reduction in Vehicle Hours Traveled, Emissions, and Crashes.
Simulation Models of I-190 in the Buffalo-Niagara Region Were Used to Estimate the Impacts of Implementing Integrated Corridor Management Alternatives.
Made Public Date
05/24/2022

685

Buffalo - Niagara Falls Metro Region, New York,
United States
Identifier
2022-01647
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Buffalo-Niagara Integrated Corridor Management

Summary Information

Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) provides transportation management and operations strategies enabled by intelligent transportation systems (ITS) to optimize the use of existing infrastructure in a selected corridor network, while enhancing safety and reducing the negative externalities associated with congestion. As part of a planning study for the Buffalo-Niagara Integrated Corridor Management (BNICM) deployment, analysts implemented a microscopic-mesoscopic simulation model to evaluate ITS technologies and strategies along key freeway corridors. The microscopic model simulated individual vehicle characteristics and interactions, and the mesoscopic simulation provided operational information at an aggregate or regional level.

Methodology

The calibrated simulation model used in the study included the I-190 corridor from I-90 through downtown Buffalo, across Grand Island, through the Niagara region, and terminating at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge crossing between the United States and Canada. The model also included all parallel freeway and arterials, and the larger bi-national corridor. The simulation was used to estimate the potential benefits of ICM deployments for five traffic conditions:

  • Base - Typical weekday AM and PM
  • Major crashes in the weekday - AM and PM
  • Snow conditions - AM
  • High cross-border traffic demand during Canada Day and Independence Day holidays - PM
  • Sabres hockey game high-traffic demand in downtown Buffalo - PM peak period

A detailed analysis of the impacts of two ICM strategies was conducted using the calibrated model:

  • ICM Strategy Package A included dynamic traveler information, freeway incident detection, service patrol, ramp metering, variable speed limits and queue warnings, and variable toll pricing.
  • ICM Strategy Package B retained Package A ICM strategies and added a signal coordination strategy to provide a network-wide response plan.

Three types of impacts, including mobility, reliability, and environmental, were monetized in the analysis. The mobility impact was calculated using the overall vehicle hours of time (VHT) saved and the average user’s value of time (a mean value of $14.92 per vehicle-hour was used in the analyses). Reliability was calculated by multiplying the change in the standard deviation of the travel times for the traveling public by the average user’s value of time. Finally, the environmental impact was calculated by averaging the retail fuel cost and multiplying by the estimated change in gallons of fuel consumed based on vehicle-miles travelled (VMT). The annual impact was calculated by multiplying the condition-specific impacts by the number of occurrences in one year. In addition, safety benefits such as the estimated number of prevented crashes were converted into dollar values using crash cost estimation methods.

Findings

Estimates based on the simulation model analyses showed that travel-time savings accounted for the largest component of benefits from the BNICM deployment. The strategies with the highest impact were found to be Dynamic Traveler Information, Freeway Incident Detection, and Service Patrol. Tables 1 and 2 summarize the monetized benefits for Packages A and B.

Table 1: Monetized Estimated Benefits for Deployment Package A from Simulation

Item

Annual Value ($)

Recurring VHT Benefits

$7,572,628

Recurring VMT Benefits (Weekday Peak Periods)

$2,536,613

Recurring Emission Benefits (Weekday Peak Periods)

$65,241

Mobility Benefits from Prevented Crashes

$765,021

Prevented Crash Costs

$2,757,205

Total Benefits

$13,696,708

Benefit / Cost Ratio for ICM Deployment Package A

2.77

 

Table 2: Monetized Estimated Benefits for Deployment Package B from Simulation

Item

Annual Value ($)

Recurring VHT Benefits

$9,210,516

Recurring VMT Benefits (Weekday Peak Periods)

$4,338,572

Recurring Emission Benefits (Weekday Peak Periods)

$128,136

Mobility Benefits from Prevented Crashes

$765,021

Prevented Crash Costs

$2,757,205

Total Benefits

$17,199,449

Benefit / Cost Ratio for ICM Deployment Package B

3.37

 

Results Type
Deployment Locations