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Pan Am Games, Traffic Network Monitoring and Post-Processing


The 2015 Pan Am and ParaPan Am Games were held in July and August, respectively, in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The games involved 7,700 athletes from 41 countries. The venues were distributed across a geographic area of 1,810 km2 while the athletes’ village was located in the Toronto waterfront area. One of the requirements associated with hosting the Games was to ensure that reliable travel times were provided for athletes and Games officials between the Village and the various Games venues. The Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) proposed that a network of Temporary HOV Lanes (THOVL) be implemented during the Games to facilitate travel by athletes and officials.
Ensuring efficient and reliable travel times for Games athletes and officials was a considerable challenge in the context of widespread recurring traffic congestion across the highway system serving the GTA. At the same time, adverse impacts on commuting and other personal travel and on transit and commercial transportation needed to be managed to avoid significant delays. Two regional-level traffic management strategies were considered that affect the expressway system under the jurisdiction of MTO. The first of these involved the implementation of a THOVL network which included existing HOVLs and temporary conversions of general-purpose lanes (GPLs). The second strategy involved the development of traffic management plans to mitigate the impact of major incidents affecting the THOVL network. The planning and evaluation process supporting the implementation of the THOVL network involved the development and application of an extensive multi-level/hybrid traffic simulation using the AIMSUN traffic simulation package and was presented in a separate paper (Pringle and Nikolic, 2015). This paper focuses on the monitoring and post-evaluation process. The objective of the project was to answer the following questions:
1) How successful the implemented traffic management strategies were in (a) meeting the transportation objectives/targets for travel by athletes/officials/media; and (b) minimizing the impacts on GTA travel?
2) How did the actual outcomes compare with the planning (simulation) estimates?
Following the Games, the outputs generated from traffic simulation under different scenarios were compared with the observations generated from various sources during the Games. The main focus of this evaluation process was on the operation of the highway corridors accommodating the THOVL network. Traffic data from different sources within the THOVL network (i.e. loop detectors, Bluetooth sensors, video cameras, on-board GPS units and screen line counts) were collected and used for this post-evaluation. These comparisons confirmed a generally successful implementation of the traffic management strategies, in terms of expected (simulated) conditions vs. observed conditions. In terms of legacy value, the traffic simulation platform developed for this assignment, once expanded, will serve as basis for future traffic simulation work across the GTA by and for MTO; ensuring consistency and avoiding duplication.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Making Transportation More Efficient During the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto
Rouhieh, B.
Hadayeghi, A.
Pringle, R.
Nikolic, G.