Research Reports

Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) Special Events Traffic Flow Study

Principal Investigator:

Jiann-Shiou Yang

June 2003

Report no. CTS 04-08

Topics: Congestion, Traffic Operations

Following special events at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) (e.g., conventions, concerts, graduation ceremonies), high volumes of traffic exiting the DECC create substantial congestion at adjacent intersections. The purpose of this research is to develop an improved signal timing control plan for the high volume traffic movements associated with DECC special events so that progression through the downtown Duluth and I-35 is as efficient as possible. Our research mainly contains the following four parts: (1) identify the project study area which includes adjacent and key intersections near the DECC; (2) collect traffic data at the selected intersections; (3) develop an efficient signal timing control to improve after event traffic flow; and (4) perform an evaluation study using both the existing and the newly developed timing plans. We use a practical approach for signal timing control that eliminates the need of using a traffic dynamic model to optimize the intersection split times following DECC special events. Our approach is based on neural networks (NNs) with the weight estimation (i.e., the ?training process?) via the Simultaneous Perturbation Stochastic Approximation (SPSA) algorithm.

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