Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Jian John Lu


Dynamic Message Signs, Incident Management, Non-Recurring Congestion, Recurring Congestion, Secondary Incidents


Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) play an important role in supporting motorists and first responders to handle major incidents, hazmat spills, security measures and other emergency operations. Increasingly, technology advancements and applications are providing invaluable integration opportunities to interconnect safety, maintenance, ITS, traffic operations, facilities, and transportation equipment programs to maximize available resources and achieve efficiency in transportation operations.

This research focuses on one of the prominent ITS devices: Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) operations. Using real time incident management operations data and ITS operations data, an attempt is made to develop ITS Operations Evaluations Models (ITSOEMs) that are capable of quantifying the operations value of DMS and their complementing ITS surveillance and detection systems, such as CCTV, Safety Service Patrol (SSP) and Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems.

The I-95 corridor in the state of Virginia is selected as the Study Corridor. Operations data from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) on DMS and ITS detection systems and incident management is analyzed to accomplish four key research objectives: a) To collect, extract and evaluate real time operations data from VDOT ITS and incident management operations programs and identify the factors contributing to the successful operation of DMS for the duration of incidents and events occurring on the I-95 Study Corridor; b) To develop analytical models to determine measurable influence of incident detections in successfully disseminating messages on DMS; c) To develop ITS Operations evaluation models to determine the effectiveness of DMS messages during incidents by quantifying the influence of DMS messages in the deterrence of secondary incidents on the I-95 Study Corridor; and d) To develop guidelines on the application of these quantitative ITS evaluation models so that transportation engineers can effectively use these models to perform ITS evaluations at other ITS locations. The ITS evaluation framework developed in this research work is expected to assist transportation engineers in the prioritization, selection and implementation of operations and technology integration strategies.