Date of Award

2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Christopher Hunter

Abstract

Like many universities, the University of Rhode Island is facing challenges dealing with traffic volume, due to its growth over the last twenty years and the lack of transportation infrastructure to provide the capacity it needs as it exists currently. For the University of Rhode Island, Single-Occupant Vehicles (SOVs) comprise approximately 90% of those traveling to the university, and very few use alternative means of transportation such as public transit or bicycles, which exacerbate the trend of congested roadways adjacent to the campus during peak hours of an academic semester. This thesis addresses these consequences and the traffic burden with the analysis of occurring traffic flows caused by URI Kingston campus of today and in the future if traffic volumes change or surrounding road infrastructure varies at certain locations. This research effort processes raw data, sets up a simulation model with the software VISSIM®, distinguishes between base cases and scenarios, models, evaluates, and gives recommendations for future applications. Findings of the case study depict that the occurring traffic volumes are already reaching and partly exceeding the road network’s capacities during peak hours. In addition to current conditions, the simulated scenarios of an increasing total traffic volume worsen conditions, however, a decrease by only 10% leads to significant relief. The implementation of a roundabout at the intersection of Route 138, Ministerial Road and Plains Road is highly advisable. In conclusion, URI must reduce its traffic volumes and change its car-dominant transportation pattern to prepare for sustainable growth.

Available for download on Friday, August 12, 2022

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