Date of Award

8-2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor

Chowdhury, Ronnie

Abstract

Innovative incident management strategies have been sought by transportation professionals to minimize the impacts of incidents on traffic operation and safety. Some current quick clearance strategies such as 'Steer It and Clear It' legislation in South Carolina, which requires driver(s) of involved vehicle(s) in a minor incident to move vehicles promptly from the traveled roadway prior to the arrival of the first responders, can potentially reduce the duration of an incident. The research detailed in this paper endeavored to measure the benefit of the Steer It and Clear It law on a section of I-85 in South Carolina. A simulation analysis using the microscopic traffic simulation platform PARAMICS suggested that the total traffic delay can be reduced for minor incidents with one lane blocked as a result of the reduced incident clearance time that Steer It and Clear It legislation can provide. This reduced delay, as well as reduced emissions and fuel consumption, resulted in an average cost savings of $872 per incident, which is significant when considering the number of minor incidents occurring on a daily basis in large metropolitan areas. Besides affecting congestion and its associated problems, reducing incident duration through the Steer It and Clear It law can also improve the safety of both road users and incident response personnel.

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