Kevin Sullivan, JP Morgan and Rappaport Institute Advisory Board Member
City of Boston, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and Massachusetts Central Transportation Planning Council
Chris Osgood, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics
Description of Fellowship
Conor’s fellowship this summer involved two main projects: 1) Using a collection of unique datasets to quantify the spatial and temporal variation of traffic congestion across the Boston metropolitan area; and 2) calibrating and validating the performance of parts of the CTPS travel demand model as part of an ongoing model review process. The first project focused on systematically identifying the key corridors in the City of Boston that suffer from persistent and severe traffic congestion, in order to inform the development of traffic management policies within the Boston Transportation Department’s planning division. This was achieved through the use of high-resolution traffic data obtained from multiple sources, including private companies and state and municipal agencies. By developing a city-wide benchmark based on a consistent data-model, transportation planners and traffic engineers will be able to assess the impact of future policies and developments on traffic conditions across the City of Boston. This large data-model framework was also used on the second project, which aimed to test the performance of the traffic simulation models used by CTPS to forecast traffic demand in response to future urban development and changing patterns of travel behavior. His analysis resulted in some modest improvements to the model’s performance on heavily congested roads, while also providing an empirical confirmation that most of the model parameters are correctly tuned to reproduce the peak period traffic conditions across eastern Massachusetts.