Isolated communities are particularly vulnerable to disasters caused by natural hazards. In many cases, evacuation is the only option to ensure the population’s safety. Isolated communities are becoming increasingly aware of this threat and demand solutions to this problem. However, the large body of existing research on evacuation modeling usually considers environments where populations can evacuate via private vehicles and by using an existing road infrastructure. These models are often not applicable to remote valleys and islands, where road connections can be disrupted or do not exist at all. The use of external resources is therefore essential to evacuate the population. How to systematically evacuate an isolated community through a coordinated fleet of resources has not yet been researched. This dissertation thesis addresses this knowledge gap by designing a new routing problem called the Isolated Community Evacuation Problem (ICEP) that optimally routes recovery resources between evacuation pick-up points and shelter locations to minimize the total evacuation time. The research presents derivations of the initial model for (a) emergency planning and (b) response purposes to give emergency planners and researchers tools to prepare for and react to an evacuation of an isolated community. For (a), a scenario-based two-stage stochastic program with recourse considers different emergency scenarios to select the optimal set of recovery resources to hold available for any evacuation emergency. Furthermore, the dissertation explores efficient structure-based heuristics to solve the problem quickly. For (b), the assumption of certainty over the size of the affected population at the time of evacuation is relaxed. Approaches from robust and rolling-horizon optimization are presented to solve this problem. Moreover, meta-heuristics are explored to solve the problem to optimality while overcoming the complexity of the problem formulation. Finally, an in-depth, real-world case study that was conducted in collaboration with first responders and emergency authorities on Bowen Island in Canada is presented to test and evaluate the applicability of the proposed models. This case study further informed the official evacuation plan of the island. This collaboration demonstrates the potential of full integration of the research approach with local emergency expertise from the affected area and highlights the data requirements that need to be met to maximize the use of the model.
This report examines pedestrian and motorist behavior on arterials in Washington State and determines how, if at all, these behaviors change when various engineering treatments are applied. The treatments that were examined included crosswalk markings, raised medians, in-pavement flashers, signage, stop bars, overhead lighting, and sidewalks. The relationships between pedestrian travel and transit use, origin-destination patterns, traffic signals, and schools were also explored.
The study examined seven locations in the state of Washington. These were State Route (SR) 7 at South 180th Street in Spanaway, SR 99 at South 152nd Street in Shoreline, SR 99 at South 240th Street in Kent, SR 2 between South Lundstrom and King Streets in Airway Heights, SR 2 at Lacrosse Street in Spokane, SR 2 at Rowan Avenue in Spokane, and SR 2 at Wellesley Avenue in Spokane.
Because pedestrian-vehicle collisions are rare when specific locations are studied, other criteria were used to evaluate the conditions and behaviors that were present. These included “conflicts” such as running behavior, motorists having to brake unexpectedly to avoid a pedestrian, pedestrians waiting in the center lane to cross, and more. These unreported, but very common, occurrences enabled the researchers to gain a better understanding of both pedestrian and motorist concerns and behaviors and the effects that improvements might have.
The study concludes that the causes of conflicts are highly varied: ignorance of or noncompliance with the law (by the motorist or the pedestrian), inattention, vehicles following too closely, impatience, anxiety in attempting to catch a bus, use or non-use of pedestrian facilities, placement of features in the built environment, and more. While pedestrian/motorist interaction improves with improved visibility (something which can be obtained through better engineering design and the removal of visual clutter) better education and/or enforcement will also be needed to achieve significant safety benefits.
Katherine D. Davis, Mark E. Hallenbeck. An Evaluation of Engineering Treatments and Pedestrian and Motorist Behavior on Major Arterials in Washington State. Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC), 2008.
Bike facilities like bike lanes, bike trails, and neighborhood greenways have been the backbone of Seattle’s bike planning policy with the goal of promoting active transportation, reducing car dependence, improving social equity, and eliminating bike accidents. While the equitable implementation of all of these facilities are still a priority for the Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development to increase viable commute mobility options, bike planning investments may not reflect the priorities shared by those in the bike community. Other factors in the bike commute environment were not present in Seattle’s Bike Master Plan, such as bike storage and shower facilities. There is also a lack of knowledge on whether there were priorities that people of color might have that are different. To better understand those priorities, this study sent out an online survey to 14 bike facility planning groups and bike community organizations around Seattle on the importance of nineteen different factors in the bike commute environment. For each factor, there were a range of values gauging the degree of importance of a bike commute factor to the bike commute environment, as well as a free response to allow respondents to elaborate on their answers. In total, 71 survey responses were received. The factor that placed the highest importance on the bike commute environment was bike racks and storage, higher than even bike facilities such as bike lanes. There were also not many differences in the priorities expressed by people of color, with the only significant difference being the weighting of sharrows, which had received significantly more support from people of color. Using the results of the survey, we recommend that the City of Seattle develop a bike commute environment index with a weighting scheme that is reflective of the priorities expressed in the survey, in addition to informing the City what are the community priorities in the bike commute environment.
Cheung, Theodore & Sheehy, Katie & Bae, Christine & McCormack, Edward. (2020). Survey on the Bike Commute Environment among Seattle Area Bike Planners and Advocates. 10.13140/RG.2.2.28619.31529.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a model-based approach to quantify where, and in what form, energy and materials are used in industrial production. The “life cycle” refers to the production of raw materials for fuels, infrastructure and energy conversion equipment, use, maintenance, after life options, and relevant health and social factors. This is sometimes referred to as a “cradle to grave” approach when assessing environmental impacts. Current interest in carbon footprint and environmental impacts of products derived from crops, primarily food and bio-fuels, first requires a detailed life cycle assessment of the agricultural production. American wheat is selected to study the variation in life cycle impacts of an agricultural product that has been aggregated in previous LCAs. All previous studies contain an LCA case study of one species of wheat grown in a specific location. Such a narrow approach is not an accurate representation of the system. This LCA of American wheat differs in the fact that it investigates multiple locations, species, variation in farming practices, fuel use, fertilizer application, and transportation throughout the country in an attempt to be inclusive of the spatial and species variability of wheat production on greenhouse gas emissions. Due to the decentralized nature of American agriculture, an understanding of transportation decisions and resulting impacts are especially important. Results indicate a 101% intra-species and 62% inter-species variation in greenhouse gas emissions of wheat grown in the U.S. However, due to a range of 1440 kg CO2 eq/ha to -1404 kg CO2 eq/ha, sequestration of carbon during cultivation is the most sensitive and variable contribution to life cycle greenhouse gas emissions.
O'Donnell, Brendan. (2009). Life cycle assessment of American wheat: Analysis of regional variations in production and transportation. University of Washington Master's Degree Thesis.
The demand for home deliveries has seen a drastic increase, especially in cities, putting urban freight systems under pressure. As more people move to urban areas and change consumer behaviors to shop online, busy delivery operations cause externalities such as congestion and air pollution.
Micro-consolidation implementations and their possible pairing with soft transportation modes offer practical, economic, environmental, and cultural benefits. Early implementations of micro-consolidation practices were tested but cities need to understand their implications in terms of efficiency and sustainability.
This study includes a research scan and proposes a typology of micro-consolidation practices. It focuses on assessing the performance of microhubs that act as additional transshipment points where the packages are transported by trucks and transferred onto e-bikes to complete the last mile.
The purpose of the study is to assess the performance of delivery operations using a network of microhubs with cargo logistics and identify the conditions under which these solutions can be successfully implemented to improve urban freight efficiencies and reduce emissions. The performance is evaluated in terms of vehicle miles traveled, tailpipe CO2 emissions, and average operating cost per package using simulation tools. Three different delivery scenarios were tested that represents 1) the baseline scenario, where only vans and cars make deliveries; 2) the mixed scenario, where in addition to vans and cars, a portion of packages are delivered by e-bikes; and 3) the e-bike only scenario, where all package demand is satisfied using microhubs and e-bikes.
The results showed that e-bike delivery operations perform the best in service areas with high customer density. At the highest customer demand level, e-bikes traveled 7.7% less to deliver a package and emitted 91% less tailpipe CO2 with no significant cost benefits or losses when compared with the baseline scenario where only traditional delivery vehicles were used. Cargo logistics, when implemented in areas where the demand is densified, can reduce emissions and congestion without significant cost implications.
Gunes, S. (2021). Micro-Consolidation Practices in Urban Delivery Systems: Comparative Evaluation of Last Mile Deliveries Using e-Cargo Bikes and Microhubs, University of Washington Master's Thesis.
International land ports of entry are unique transportation bottlenecks in the North American transportation system and present interesting statistical analysis problems. At the Pacific Highway port-of-entry, located between Surrey, British Columbia and Blaine, Washington, commercial vehicles have experienced crossing times of two hours or more. To address this, the crossing has a dedicated lane for users that comply with certain security procedures under the Free And Secure Trade program. Crossers using this program experience significantly shorter wait times. These issues present the need to understand border operations, crossing times, and arrival volume patterns in greater detail to mitigate congestion and effectively utilize existing infrastructure. This thesis will address temporal patterns of commercial vehicle crossing times and arrival volume patterns by season, month, day of the week, and hour; introduce primary and non-primary crossing time concepts; analyze drivers’ lane choice; and complex statistical sampling techniques. Thus, this thesis will provide insight as to how to better manage border congestion, and introduce statistical techniques that can be used to support future research.
Leung, L. (2009). Statistical Analysis of Commercial Vehicle Border Crossing Times and Volumes: Case Study of the Pacific Highway Port-of-Entry Case Lane. University of Washington Master's Thesis.
As urbanized populations and concentrations of activities increase, there is growing pressure in dense and constrained urban areas to unlock the potential of every public infrastructure element to address the increasing demand for public space. Specifically, there is a growing demand for space for parking operations related to the access to land use by people and goods. On one side, ridehailing services, such as those provided by Uber and Lyft, are on the rise and with them the associated passenger pick-up/drop-off (PUDOs) operations. On the other side, freight and servicing trips require a supply of adequate infrastructure to support vehicle access and load/unload activities and final delivery/service to customers. This dissertation aims to provide insights based on real-world datasets and tests to support the management of two key public infrastructure that provides access to land uses: alleys and curb lanes. To achieve this goal, first, this dissertation will investigate what roles alleys play in cities and inspect alleys’ physical characteristics and vehicle parking operations in these spaces. Secondly, this research will examine factors of PUDO dwell time and evaluate the impact of adding curb lane PUDO zones and geofencing ridehailing vehicles to these zones using a hazard-based duration modeling approach. Finally, this dissertation will analyze the impact of different ridehailing curb management strategies on curb lane utilization based on simulation.
León, J., Luis Machado. (2022). Ridehail and Commercial Vehicles Access in Urban Areas: Implications for Public Infrastructure Management (Order No. 10827973). University of Washington Doctoral Dissertation.
Intra-industry trade (IIT) occurs when trading partners import and export similar products. A high volume of IIT of horizontally differentiated goods implies a deep level of regional integration, stable regional trading patterns, and potentially significant consequences from border delay. In this paper, trade between Washington State and British Columbia, Canada (the Cascade gateway), is compared with trade between Michigan State and Ontario, Canada (the Great Lakes gateway). The Grubel–Lloyd index, which measures IIT, is used to analyze trade in these two corridors. Higher levels of IIT and regional integration within the Great Lakes gateway are shown. The paper argues that cross-border supply chains most exposed to higher cost from increasing border delays are composed of horizontally differentiated manufactured goods having high levels of IIT and relying heavily on truck transportation. These types of goods are more common in the Great Lakes gateway, and this region may therefore experience greater economic impacts from long and unpredictable delays than the Cascade gateway.
The value of trade between the United States and Canada is the highest of that between any two countries worldwide, and Canada is the largest foreign trading partner for 37 of the 50 U.S. states (1, 2). The border between the countries is 5,525 mi, making it the longest common border in the world, with 12 U.S. states bordering seven Canadian provinces (3). The commodities traded in different parts of this border are varied, and so is the nature of that trade. Most of this trade—almost 63% of the total value and 35% of the weight— is moved by trucks, which are often subject to long and unpredictable delays at the border crossings (4). This paper uses the Grubel–Lloyd (GL) index, a measure of intra-industry trade (IIT), to describe the nature of the trade along the U.S.–Canada border and its relation to trade corridors. It is argued that increasing delay for roadway vehicles crossing the borders has different impacts on intra-industry versus interindustry trade and that knowledge of these impacts should be considered in evaluating potential policy solutions to addressing border congestion.
Kristjánsson, Kristján Árni. "Analysis of Intra-and Inter-industry Trade Flows of US State-Canadian Province Pairs: Implications for the Cost of Border Delay." PhD diss., University of Washington, 2009.
Diehl, Caleb. (2021). Examining the Effects of Common Carrier Lockers on Residential Delivery. http://hdl.handle.net/1773/47716. University of Washington Master's Thesis.
Activities of commercial vehicles just prior to or just following international border crossings are not well understood. Logistical responses to border crossings are believed to increase empty miles traveled, travel times and total vehicle emissions. Analysis of observational data and surveys taken by commercial carriers at the Cascade Gateway border crossings (between Whatcom County, Washington State and Lower British Columbia) improves understanding of the manner by and extent to which the border and the associated policies and regulations impact logistics operations near the border. Findings suggest that the border creates logistical incentives for trucks to both deadhead (cross the border without carrying goods as part of a cross-border round trip journey) and make staging stops near the border for border-related transloading. Policies such as cabotage laws and the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program are both believed to increase the negative logistical incentives which the border creates. This thesis examines how these policies negatively impact logistical efficiency and suggests avenues to explore policy reform.
Klein, Matthew (2010). Pacific Highway Commercial Vehicle Operations: Border Policy and Logistical Efficiency in a Regional Context, University of Washington Master's Degree Thesis.