University of California Transportation Center
Incorporating Vehicular Emissions into an Efficient Mesoscopic Traffic Model: An Application to the Alameda Corridor, CA
- Author(s): Gan, Qijian
- Sun, Jielin
- Jin, W L
- Saphores, Jean-Daniel M
- et al.
We couple EMFAC with a dynamic mesoscopic traffic model to create an efficient tool for generating information about traffic dynamics and emissions of various pollutants (CO2, PM10, NOX, and TOG) on large scale networks. Our traffic flow model is the multi-commodity discrete kinematic wave (MCDKW) model, which is rooted in the cell transmission model but allows variable cell sizes for more efficient computations. This approach allows us to estimate traffic emissions and characteristics with a precision similar to microscopic simulation but much faster. To assess the performance of this tool, we analyze traffic and emissions on a large freeway network located between the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles. Comparisons of our mesoscopic simulation results with microscopic simulations generated by TransModeler under both congested and free flow conditions show that hourly emission estimates of our mesoscopic model are within 4 to 15 percent of microscopic results with a computation time divided by a factor of 6 or more. Our approach provides policymakers with a tool more efficient than microsimulation for analyzing the effectiveness of regional policies designed to reduce air pollution from motor vehicles.