Inderscience Publishers

Evaluation of incident management strategies and technologies using an integrated traffic/incident management simulation

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This paper describes Rutgers Incident Management System (RIMS) software that is developed to evaluate the benefits of various incident management strategies and technologies. This tool can generate incidents and test various response strategies and technologies. South Jersey highway network is used as a test network due to the available historical incident data. The evaluated incident management strategies include the deployment of Variable Message Signs (VMS) to divert traffic during incidents and the use of Freeway Service Patrols (FSPs) for detecting and verifying incidents efficiently. The simulation-based evaluations also include the effect of cellular phone users in the network on the incident detection and verification times. The results show that the studied incident management strategies have positive impacts on reducing incident durations while being cost effective. More specifically, the deployment of VMS for diverting traffic in case of an incident results in a benefit cost ratio of 9.2:1; an additional service unit in freeway patrol results in reduced incident detection and verification time with a corresponding benefit-cost ratio of 3.9:1.

Keywords: incident management, integrated simulation, freeway patrols, evaluation, traffic management, response strategies, variable message signs, traffic diversion, cell phones, mobile phones, incident detection, incident verification, traffic incidents

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