Dynamic Traffic Assignment: Assessing Its Value as a Planning Support Tool in Arizona

The Arizona Statewide Travel Demand Model (AZTDM) simulates the interaction between people and the roadway system. It models travel behavior to prepare the forecasts used for highway design and transportation planning. However, the AZTDM currently has a static traffic assignment process, which represents average conditions over a long period, in contrast to the rapidity with which traffic levels can change in the real world. A recently developed technology, called dynamic traffic assignment (DTA), is designed to represent fluctuating traffic volumes and long trips on complex networks. DTA may enhance ADOT’s understanding of existing and future travel behavior, enabling a more accurate modeling of traffic congestion and freight movement, as well as the testing of alternative solutions. The objective of the research is to evaluate the feasibility of using DTA — in terms of cost, accuracy, and integration with the existing model.