Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

International Journal of Transportation








Road transportation networks are a segment of society's critical infrastructure particularly susceptible to service disruptions. Traffic incidents disrupt road networks by producing blockages and increasing travel times, creating significant impacts during emergency events such as evacuations. For this reason, it is extremely important to incorporate traffic incidents in evacuation planning models. Emergency managers and decision makers need tools that enable rapid assessment of multiple, varied scenarios. Many evacuation simulations require high-fidelity data input making them impractical for rapid deployment by practitioners. Since there is such variation in evacuation types and the method of disruption, evacuation models do not require the high-fidelity data needed by other types of transportation models. This paper's purpose is to show that decision makers can gain useful information from rapid evacuation modeling which includes a simple traffic incident model. To achieve this purpose, the research team integrated a generic incident model into the Real-time Evacuation Planning Model (RtePM), a tool commissioned by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help emergency planners determine regional evacuation clearance times in the United States. RtePM is a simple, web-based tool that enables emergency planners to consider multiple evacuation plans at no additional cost to the user. Using this tool, we analyzed a simple scenario of the United States' National Capital Region (NCR) to determine the impact of traffic incidents when different destination routes are blocked. The results indicate significant variations in evacuation duration when blockages are considered.


This article is open access under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND).

Original Publication Citation

Collins, A. J., Robinson, R. M., Foytik, P., Jordan, C., & Ezell, B. C. (2016). Integrating a simple traffic incident model for rapid evacuation analysis. International Journal of Transportation, 4(3), 15-32. doi:10.14257/ijt.2016.4.3.02


0000-0001-5295-930X (Robinson), 0000-0003-4274-908X (Ezell)