Modeling & Forecasting
Using state of the art or state of the practice methods, Modeling & Forecasting works directly with the staffs of MPOs, the planning & design divisions of state and federal agencies, and their consultants to produce traffic forecasts for transportation project and policy alternatives. Ultimately, the customers of these forecasts are agencies at all levels of government who build, operate, and maintain the transportation system, as well as the general public.
Staff within the work unit produces twenty (20) to twenty five (25) year forecasts of traffic flows on the roadway system for roadway design. Design aspects such as number of lanes, number and length of turn lanes at intersections, interchange configurations, pavement type and thickness, and other roadway geometry depend on this certified traffic forecast. Traffic flows produced by travel demand forecasting models are used as the basis for certified traffic.
The work unit sets standards for travel demand models in Ohio working in coordination with the Ohio Travel Demand Model Users Group (OTDMUG). The work unit builds and maintains travel demand models used in Ohio. These travel demand models are used for a number of transportation planning activities beyond certified traffic for roadway design. Model results are also used to evaluate alternative roadway locations, evaluate impact and feasibility of other modes of travel such as bus and light rail, and the impact of policy decisions on the transportation system. The work unit supports urban area models used by Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) as well as a statewide model for Ohio.
In coordination with MPOs, modelers in the work unit use the travel demand model results coupled with the MOVES transportation pollution emission model produced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to perform regional emissions analysis of long range transportation plans. In addition, the work unit produces project level air toxic emissions estimates to satisfy Federal requirements and for such things as funding eligibility in support of other departmental planning activities.