Performance Evaluation of Transportation Systems for Sustainability and Smart-Growth of Cities: An Integrated Assessment of Health Impacts
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Civil and Construction Engineering
Dr. Jun-Seok Oh
Dr. Valerian Kwigizile
Dr. Ala Al-Fuqaha
Smart city, sustainable transportation, active transportation, health impact assessment, agent-based modeling, traffic simulation
The performance of transportation systems is a significant component that influences the quality of life. The performance evaluation refers to a process of determining how well transportation systems perform regarding their intended goals and objectives. The advancement of information and communication technology and the integration between transportation systems and advanced technologies have directed more attention to the concept of smart cities. Smart cities are constituted of several interrelated components. Therefore, this offers comprehensive and integrated frameworks to evaluate the transportation performance and understanding of multifaceted interactions between the components from a transportation engineering perspective in four sections.
In the first part of the study, a framework is developed to identify poor cycling infrastructure by studying bicyclists perception and driver’s behavior in bicycle-vehicle maneuvers. Active transportation modes aid livable communities by enhancing physical activity and public health, known as important factors of the sustainability of smart cities. I found that environments with more intersections or uphill segments incorporate a risk of being uncomfortable or stationary. In terms of the legislation approach, this study demonstrated that overtaking distances in the locations with a five-foot passing law were significantly greater than those with a three-foot law or no specific law.
In the second part, I developed a conceptual assessment framework of multifaceted transportation performances for sustainability and smart-growth in cities. A multi-criteria decision analysis method was employed to composite the criteria and evaluate the final Closeness Coefficient Score (CCS) to the negative ideal solution. I applied the proposed framework to forty-six cities in the US. The results indicated that the physical activity indicator is a significant criterion to distinguish the sustainability of study areas.
Third, the study proposed a framework utilizing open-source databases to generate a synthetic population offering household- and person-level attributes. The framework provided a procedure to develop agent-based trip chains for individuals in the synthetic population. I also developed a method to accurately impute land-use polygons to each tour within the traffic analysis zones. The analysis results suggested a perfect fit between the actual and the synthetic population and the proposed framework added up the existing approaches by providing additional steps to build spatial and temporal distributions of agents’ activity plan using open-source data.
The final framework proposes how to evaluate integrated health impacts of transportation scenarios using agent-based simulation. An agent-based simulation approach was developed to analyze three factors of physical activity, traffic accidents, and air pollution exposure through four scenarios: the base scenario, increase in demand, introducing bikeable infrastructure and a combination of the last two scenarios. The case study results demonstrated that the quantified benefits of physical activity in the environment with an average background pollution concentration is substantially larger than risks of vehicle crashes and emission exposure, even though active travelers are more vulnerable to air pollution. Thus, the framework can be used as an effective tool to capture smart and sustainable strategies, such as bike-sharing programs, demand-responsive transport, and micro-transit in urbanized areas, and determine the long-term health outcomes of each scenario.
Feizi, Ahmad, "Performance Evaluation of Transportation Systems for Sustainability and Smart-Growth of Cities: An Integrated Assessment of Health Impacts" (2021). Dissertations. 3758.