Use of regional transportation planning tool for modeling emergency evacuation

Kaan Ozbay, M. Yazici, Shrisan Iyer, Jian Li, Eren Ozguven, Jon Carnegie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evacuation modeling and analysis are concerned primarily with identifying the types of traffic movements associated with a disaster evacuation, as well as the estimation of evacuation and clearance times. Thus, an efficient evacuation planning model is important in determining evacuation times, identifying critical locations in the transportation network, and assessing traffic operations strategies and evacuation policies. In this paper various scenarios, including a hurricane, a toxic chemical leak, dirty bombs, and a nuclear event, are studied to understand the evacuation and highway network effects of the evacuating population. Unlike corridor studies or bottleneck studies found in the literature, a network model with equilibrium assignment is used. The scenarios are tested with a case study of Northern New Jersey, modeled with the North Jersey Regional Transportation Model-Enhanced, a large-scale travel demand model of the region. The results presented in this paper focus on the effect of several assumptions and input data on the evacuation estimates, giving planners an idea of the necessary considerations for evacuation planning with a modeling context. The experience with this study shows that regional planning models are suitable tools to model evacuation; however, the modeler must be careful in their use. Multiple methodologies can be used, and assumptions, such as time of day, notice or no-notice, passengers per car, and background traffic in the network, have wide-ranging effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number2312
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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