A computer simulation scenario analysis approach as a decision support tool for transportation systems planning
Damianou, Pantelis A.
Ioannou, Petros A.
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As the level of traffic congestion rises and the complexity of traffic networks increases, the development of effective transportation strategies becomes the most challenging task for every transport authority. Meanwhile, advancements in computer technology and especially the technique of computer simulation offer a new effective way for testing plausible solutions prior to their implementation. Based on a microscopic traffic simulation model this paper presents an evaluation of the effectiveness of alternative traffic solution interventions on a main arterial in Nicosia, Cyprus. In particular, computer experiments are carried out to test various plausible scenario solutions. The scenarios under evaluation, involve the use of dedicated bus lanes, high occupancy vehicle lanes and road enhancement interventions. The simulation results show that an attractive scenario such as the use of dedicated bus lanes, if not designed properly, could bring disastrous results not only to the private car transport mode but also to the bus transport mode as coupling effects cause buses to get stuck with the rest of the traffic. By going through a computer experimentation process and scenario analysis a viable solution is derived, where restricted lanes for buses and high occupancy vehicles are introduced in combination with road geometry redesign and traffic re-direction at key points.