Since the 1980s, the County has relied on transportation modelling to forecast the number of vehicles and persons travelling on its roads, but this in-house modelling tool brings added value. Benefits include cost savings, increased efficiencies, flexibility and consistency of data across projects.
The model has been developed over two years and provides a low-risk environment to study future scenarios and analyze any impacts they have on traffic and the transportation network. The model provides a look into potential bottlenecks in the transportation network and establishes potential options to prevent those issues before they happen.
The model was developed using data collected from an extensive list of external and internal sources (demographic data, travel costs, existing travel patterns, transportation road and transit network, etc.). It can predict auto and transit traffic information throughout the entire County using 296 defined zones, zooming in on travel patterns for individual neighbourhoods, shopping plazas or office centres. Once the outputs are entered into micro simulation software, it is possible to predict how many vehicles will make a left turn at a specific intersection, during peak travel times… years into the future.
The model is relied upon to conduct various studies, such as supporting the growth and development of the Bethel Transit Terminal, the Emerald Hills Leisure Centre, and also for planning documents such as the Integrated Transportation Master Plan. The model is an invaluable tool for future transportation network infrastructure planning, policy assessment and working with regional partners such as Alberta Transportation and surrounding municipalities.
Transportation Engineering and Operations