NMC Provides DTA Training 1.0 Workshop
The Network Modeling Center (NMC) at CTR has been working since 2011 on a new modeling tool for the Central Texas region, both researching and deploying advanced traffic models. The resulting dynamic traffic assignment (DTA) tool enables us to better understand traffic patterns related to congestion, particularly how congestion levels respond to changes to the infrastructure. (Watch a video explaining an Austin area application of DTA.) In January, the NMC held two half-day workshops to share the technology and introduce local agency staff to DTA modeling and data and visualization tools. A small class size of 15 participants each day facilitated hands-on learning and discussion. Staff from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, and its member cities and counties, were introduced to CTR’s modeling and data visualization tools by the NMC’s Jen Duthie, Mason Gemar, and Natalia Ruiz Juri. Modelers Ken Perrine and Itamar Gal were also on hand to provide one-on-one assistance. One participant noted that “I think my colleagues who handle planning for projects and scenario modeling should attend this training…it’d open their eyes to opportunities in applying DTA in their daily operations.” The workshop was well received overall; another participant indicated that the workshop “definitely surpassed expectations—I was expecting to see a tool [only] for viewing modeling results, so I am excited to see how interactive and customizable this tool is.”
Additional workshops will follow in the spring and summer of 2016 that will provide more in-depth, small-group instruction for partner agencies.
The NMC has already put its DTA tool into practice locally, helping untangle the traffic buildup in a six-county region stretching from Austin to San Marcos and responding to the City of Bastrop request for NMC help in modeling the likely impacts on traffic in downtown Bastrop during construction on State Highway 71, which runs through downtown Bastrop.