Developing and Applying a Transportation Model for Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island
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Developing and Applying a Transportation Model for Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island

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Developing and Applying a Transportation Model for Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island


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    This research project focuses on Aquidneck Island in the State of Rhode Island. The research project has two primary objectives. First, the project builds the foundation for coordinated transportation and land use planning on Aquidneck Island using TransCAD 4.5. Specifically, the project focuses on two case studies on the island to demonstrate and test the application of TransCAD travel demand forecasting model and its effectiveness in addressing the impacts of land use changes and new development on the transportation network. Second, the project expanded the capabilities of the University of Rhode Island in the areas of transportation planning and modeling using TransCAD. The report is divided into several sections. First, the report presents a profile of the island and its three municipalities of Newport, Middletown and Portsmouth. This is followed by an overview of the Aquidneck Island travel demand forecasting model developed by the Louis Berger Group. Next, the report presents the application of the TransCAD travel demand model in the two case studies on the island. The report ends with conclusions from the analyses of the case studies and a list of recommendations for the future use of the Aquidneck Island travel demand model, including suggestions for the refinement of the model. It is concluded that TransCAD was more applicable for regional use and analysis. A comprehensive traffic problem-solving approach should also utilize a micro-level intersection analysis software package. The connection between the model and the land uses was primarily based on employment and population projections. Therefore, additional models would be needed to estimate future employment and population in the study area. The model does not include seasonal traffic information. This has major impact on resort areas such as the City of Newport. The model does not include information on alternative modes of transportation in addition to driving. Lastly, the calibration of the model performed prior to the model’s use by this study needed additional verification; for example one-way streets in Newport were not included. Based on the findings of this study, the model will be corrected and refined in the future. The application of TransCAD and the model will require support from the three municipalities on the island. Long term, the application of the travel demand model will provide a unique opportunity to address the impacts of land use changes and new development on the transportation network of the island. The model can improve the patterns of development throughout the island by educating the decision makers on the impacts proposed developments have on the land and the road network.
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