, Professor, Mechanical Engineering
The primary objective of this project was to develop management tools to predict and access interactions between traffic volume, wildlife behavior, visitor experience, and park (road) maintenance. The University of Minnesota's contribution toward this objective was to develop an accurate, state-of-the-art traffic simulation model that facilitated the integration of all the social and biological elements. The model could then be used to forecast outcomes based on hypothesized road capacity scenarios. Such scenarios are influenced by changes in bus and transit use and scheduling, road facility restriction policies, and road maintenance plans. A final objective was to provide an implementation that gives park managers and other researchers the ability to further expand on the simulation model framework and devise new scenarios for new applications, such as guiding decisions for preparing Environmental Impact Statements.