Network-time prisms are powerful measures of space-time accessibility within transportation networks. However, they fail to capture the environmental costs of potential mobility. In this paper, we present a method for estimating the expected energy consumption and emissions associated with network time prisms. We also verify our method using data from instrumented vehicles moving within an experimental network-time prism in the Phoenix AZ road network.
Song, Y., Miller, H.J., Stempihar, J. and Zhou, X. (2017), “Green accessibility: Estimating the environmental costs of network-time prisms for sustainable transportation planning,” Journal of Transport Geography, 64, 109-119.
Abstract. Accessibility, or the ease to participate in activities and obtain resources in a given environment, is crucial for evaluating transportation systems. Greater accessibility is often achieved by increasing individuals’ potential mobility. However, potential mobility, if realized by motorized modes, can also generate negative environmental impacts such as fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While the negative environmental impacts of greater mobility are acknowledged, there has been a lack of research to validate those impacts using empirical data, especially considering variations in individuals’ mobility levels. This paper presents a method for estimating the expected environmental costs of accessibility represented by a network-time prism (NTP). A NTP delimits all accessible locations within a network and the available time for an individual to present at each location given a scheduled trip origin and destination, a time budget and the maximum achievable speeds along network edges. Estimating the expected environmental costs of a NTP involves three steps: (1) semi-Markov techniques to simulate the probabilities to move along network edges at given times; (2) the speed profiles for reachable edges, and (3) a cost function that translates speeds into environmental impacts. We focus on air quality and employ the motor vehicle emission simulator MOVESLite to estimate the CO2 emissions at both the edge and prism levels. We calibrate and validate the methods for experimental NTPs defined within the Phoenix, AZ, USA road and highway network using vehicles instrumented with GPS-enabled onboard diagnostic devices (OBD). We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method through two scenarios and investigate the impact of changes in mobility levels on the expected CO2 emissions associated with the experimental NTPs.
Keywords: Space-time accessibility; Network-time prism; Emissions
Space-time prisms are physically impossible since they assume infinite acceleration and deceleration. This paper is a first step in resolving this issue. A theoretical description of kinetic prism geometry, but provides insights that can lead to moving objects data analytics with practical applications (e.g., animal movement, vehicle energy consumption and emissions, bicycles and other forms of active transportation)
Kuijpers, B., Miller, H.J. and Othman, W., (2017) “Kinetic prisms: incorporating acceleration limits into space-time prisms,” International Journal of Geographic Information Science, 31, 2164-2194.
Abstract: Presently, data concerning moving objects abound. These data mainly consist of time-stamped geographical locations, which are collected by location aware devices, such as Global Positioning System receivers. Space–time prisms are used to model the spatio-temporal space of potential movement in between measured locations (called anchors). They rely on the knowledge of the maximal speed of travel of an object and they capture all space–time paths that respect this speed limit. However, the classic space–time path and prism model is not physically realistic, in the sense that it contains spatio-temporal paths of moving objects can alter their direction and speed instantaneously. Since this is physically impossible, the classical model is not acceptable in applications where mechanics and kinetics are vital. We propose a more realistic version of space–time prisms, in which not only speed but also acceleration is bounded. This additional bound results in a physically realistic model, which we refer to as kinetic prisms. Furthermore, we study how imposing constraints on the speed and heading at anchor points affects the geometry of kinetic prisms. In this paper, we give analytical descriptions of kinetic prisms and algorithms for their construction for movement in one- and two-dimensional space.
Keywords: Spatio-temporal data models, moving-object data, space–time prisms
New publication: Proffitt, D., Bartholomew, K., Ewing, R. and Miller, H.J. (2017) “Accessibility planning in American metropolitan areas: Are we there yet?” Urban Studies. Article first published online: June 13, 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098017710122
Transportation-planning researchers have long argued that the end goal of a transportation system is increasing accessibility, or opportunities for individuals to meet their daily needs, but that US practice tends to focus on increasing mobility, or opportunities to travel farther and faster. This study finds evidence that the gap between theory and practice may be closing when it comes to accessibility, but that significant barriers still exist to the wider adoption of the accessibility paradigm among metropolitan planning organisations, the main entities responsible for regional transportation planning in the USA. We measure this gap by creating an accessibility index based on content analysis of a nationally representative sample of 42 US regional transportation plans (RTPs). We then use regression-tree analysis to determine the characteristics of metropolitan areas that are most likely to employ accessibility concepts. Finally, we identify barriers to a wider adoption of the accessibility paradigm. Most RTPs include accessibility-related goals, but few define the term or use accessibility-oriented performance measures. The lack of clarity on accessibility leaves vehicle speed as the fundamental criterion for success in most plans. Our analysis finds that MPOs serving large regions with high per capita income are the most likely to produce plans that focus on accessibility. We argue that such places produce more accessibility-oriented RTPs because they have greater planning capacity and recommend changes to federal planning guidelines that could speed the adoption of the accessibility paradigm in RTPs.
Keywords accessibility, metropolitan planning organisations, mobility, regional planning, transportation planning