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16th COTA Annual Symposium
Sustainable Transportation and Development in China.

January 13 - 17, 2013, in Washington DC

The half-day COTA Winter Symposium provided a platform for knowledge exchange and professional networking. Highly recognized professors and researchers from China and the U.S. were geting together to discuss critical transportation issues and solutions in China.


Dr. Heng Wei, COTA President, University of Cincinnati, (513)556-3781,


Dr. Yu Zhang, University of South Florida, (813)974-5846,


Dr. Cara Wang, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, (518)276-8043,
Dr. Henry Liu, University of Minnesota, (612) 625- 6347,


Dr. Fang Fang, University of Hartford, (860) 768-4845,
Dr. Hubo Cai, Purdue University, (765) 494-5028,
Dr. Jianming Ma, Texas Department of Transportation, (512)923-6456,
Mr. Jinghui Wang, Texas Southern University, (713) 313-7532,
Dr. Yinhai Wang, University of Washington, (206) 616-2696,
Mr. Ken (Qingyan) Yang, Iteris Inc. (248)740-8720,
Dr. Yafeng Yin, University of Florida; (352) 392-9537 ext. 1455,
Dr. Lei Zhang, University of Maryland, (301) 405-2881,

Session I: Sustainable Transportation and Development in China

Dr. Jifu Guo, Beijing Transportation Research Center
Congestion Mitigation and Public Transit Priority in Beijing: Policies, Practices, and Lessons Learned. [pdf]

Profs. Jian Lu, Linjun Lu, Shanghai Jiaotong University
Strategies and Key Technologies for Low-Carbon Integrated Transportation Systems in Megacities in China.
[ABSTRACT] Global climate change is an internationally recognized issue and the most critical challenge of the 21st century for both developed and developing countries. In the past few years, an increasing number of Chinese cities have proposed planning of building low-carbon city, in response to the long term goal of reducing carbon emission. As the carbon emission of highway system constitutes a substantial part of general carbon emission in Chinese cities, it is imperative to incorporate low-carbon highway transportation system into the building of low-carbon city. This paper discusses current carbon emission situations in China and the main contents of low-carbon highway transportation system. The key technologies that could be employed to reduce highway carbon emission focus on the following five aspects: 1) the stimulation and analysis of carbon emission which reveal the effects of highway design and operation on carbon emission characteristics; 2) the detection and analysis of carbon emission of highway segments and intersections which examine the relationship between various factors (e.g. traffic flow, design) and carbon emission characteristics; 3) the modeling of highway carbon emission forecasting; 4) the evaluation indicators of highway low-carbon emission; 5) the guidelines for the improvement of highway design and operation based on low-carbon emission.

Ms. Jinxuan Lai, Beijing Jiaotong University
Emission Characteristics of Heavy-duty Diesel Transit Buses at Bus Stops based on VSP Distribution Approach in Beijing.
[ABSTRACT] Transit bus stops in metropolitan areas are hot spots which are heavily used by a large number of transit passengers, at the same time where high emission concentrations are always observed. Thus, transit passengers are directly exposed near high concentrations of pollutants. Therefore, it is essential to study and understand emission characteristics of transit buses near bus stops so that effective emission control strategies can be developed. In order to analyze emission characteristics of transit buses in Beijing, China, real-world driving activities and emission data from heavy-duty diesel buses under different traffic conditions are collected by using the portable emission measurement system (PEMS) and global positioning system (GPS) devices. Based on these data, approaches for analyzing driving characteristics and estimating emissions of transit buses near bus stops are presented. Then, emission characteristics of transit buses entering or exiting bus stops are analyzed. Results show that emission factors near bus stops on the expressway are the lowest in comparison with those on the major arterial, minor arterial and collector roads. For both curbside stops and bus bays, emission factors on the major arterial are the highest. Results further show that on the freeway, emission factors of transit buses at bus bays are higher than those at curbside stops. Finally, emission factors exhibit no apparent changes from peak hours to non-peak hours on both expressway and major arterial. However, on minor arterial and collector roads, emission factors in peak hours are over 3.3 times higher than those at curbside stops in non-peak hours.

Dr. Ke Fang, World Bank
TransFORM: innovative transport pilots and knowledge exchange in urban transport. [pdf]
[ABSTRACT] TransForm is a new initiative under a MoU signed between the World Bank and Chinese Minister of Finance to support innovative transport pilots and knowledge exchange in urban transport. The speaker will present the concept of the program and seek cooperation opportunities with COTA members.

Prof. Zhongzhi Li, Illinois Institute of Technology
Methodology for Transportation Asset Management with Interdependent Investment Alternatives under Risk and Uncertainty. [pdf]
[ABSTRACT] With increasing demand for a more efficient transportation system and decreasing budget levels, transportation investment decision-making that aims to select the optimal project portfolio which yields maximized overall networkwide benefits in terms of economy, society and environment has increasingly become important. This workshop conducts an in-depth investigation into project evaluation and project selection that are crucial steps of transportation asset management.
It begins with information search through a review of existing methods for project evaluation and selection. Several limitations of existing methods have been revealed. In particular, they are in lack of considerations in the network impacts of a single investment project, interdependencies of simultaneously implementing multiple projects, and restrictions of total risk of overall project benefits of selected projects within an acceptable level. Then, a new methodology is proposed for network wide traffic assignments, project evaluation, and project selection. A state-of-art large scale transportation simulation toolbox, the TRansportation ANalysis and SIMulation System (TRANSIMS) toolbox, is utilized to perform network wide dynamic traffic assignments to general redistributed traffic volumes after project implementation of single and multiple projects needed as inputs for project evaluation.
For project evaluation, a life-cycle cost analysis approach is developed to consider all agency costs and user costs in the service life-cycle of two primary categories of highway facilities: pavements and bridges. In order to enhance the robustness of analytical results, risk and uncertainty of input factors concerning traffic volumes, project costs, and discount rates are incorporated into the life-cycle cost computation concerning traffic volumes, project costs, and discount rates using @Risk Palisade software, Version 5.5. For project selection, two-stage enhanced Knapsack model, hypergraph Knapsack model, and two-stage hypergraph Knapsack model extended from the conventionally accepted Knapsack formulation for project selection are proposed to choose the best sub-collection of interdependent projects to yield maximized overall benefits at various budget levels, while controlling the total risk within an acceptable level. In terms of two-stage Knapsack model, the Markowitz mean-variance model is utilized for stage-one optimization to generate minimized total risk of all projects subject to constraints of available budget and minimum benefits to be expected for individual projects. At the second stage, the Knapsack model is enhanced by adding stage-one optimization solution as one more constraint. Such a treatment could help control the total risk of overall benefits of all selected projects at a desirable level. Moreover, a hypergraph Knapsack model is introduced to capture project network impacts and interdependency relationships. In order to simultaneously address issues of project networkwide project impacts, interdependencies, and total risk levels, a two-stage hypergraph Knapsack model is developed. Efficient solution algorithms are developed and coded to Frontline Solver Xpress V55 software to solve the two-stage Knapsack, hypergraph Knapsack, and two-stage hypergraph Knapsack models, respectively.
Three computational studies are carried out to apply the proposed methodology using two sets of data, including six-year data on 672 candidate projects proposed by Indiana Department of Transportation for state highway programming and 6 mega-projects proposed by Illinois State Toll Highway Authority for tollway network major capital improvements. It has generally found that the use of two-stage Knapsack model could readily control the total risk of overall benefits of selected projects at a desirable level, but it may result in significant changes in the overall benefits for different budget levels where significant differences in risks are associated with individual projects. The hypergraph Knapsack model could effectively handle issues of project networkwide project impacts and interdependency relationships. However, the two-stage hypergraph Knapsack model appears to be most robust in that it could simultaneously resolve the issues of project networkwide project impacts, interdependency relationships, and total risks of overall project benefits, thus generating most reliable information to support rational transportation investment decision-making.

Session II: Application of ITS in China and the U.S.

Dr. Ke Zhang, Suo Xu, Songlin Gen, Beijing Municipal Transportation Operations Coordination Center
Development and Applications of Beijing Comprehensive Transportation Operations Coordination Systems.

Dr. Yegor Malinovskiy, Prof. Yinhai Wang, University of Washington
Interpreting Opportunistic Mobile Device Encounter Data for Transportation. [pdf]
[ABSTRACT] Mobile sensors, such as smartphones and other personal devices, are likely to become one of the dominant contributors of transportation data. Interpreting this data is quickly becoming the primary concern in transportation data collection - as the data swells in size, so do the potential uses of it. One of the earliest, and so far most popular, data to collect have been Bluetooth device MAC addresses. Traditional approaches have involved the use of static sensors scanning for bypassing Bluetooth devices and comparing the obtained timestamps with ones found elsewhere on the corridor or grid. While these approaches have been shown to be effective and accurate, they require some infrastructure investment and a priori knowledge about where travel activity is happening. Such knowledge is sometimes difficult to obtain, as is often the case for non-motorized travel modes. To overcome these issues, we began examining an infrastructure-free system that allows user devices to become sensors themselves, through the dissemination of a data collection �app�. Under such a paradigm, the data represent a series of locations and timestamps (spatiotemporal trajectory) and information about the surrounding device types. However, the collected data presents a great deal of ambiguity due to its spatiotemporal sparseness and modal uncertainty. To obtain a better idea of the origins and destinations within the collected dataset, historical associations with pre-existing trajectories can be made in conjunction with device information and network knowledge to compute a set of plausible trajectories by mode. Preliminary work is in progress to evaluate the proposed system using a dataset collected on the University of Washington campus.

Prof. Xiaoguang Yang, Tongji University
Experimental Studies on Cooperative Vehicle Infrastructure Systems. [pdf]
[ABSTRACT] With the rapid development of contemporary high technologies, the application systems of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), Smart City, Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII), and Cooperative Vehicle Infrastructure Systems (CVIS), and Internet of Thing (IOT) have been gradually proposed and made considerable progress ever since. The presentation will systematically introduce the research topics and international cooperative plans that sponsored by 863 program and national natural science foundation in China.
The objectives of the basic research in CVIS will focus on constructing integrated network of vehicle and infrastructure and cooperative systems, which include safety and efficiency oriented framework of the CVIS, communication technologies, speed guidance service, traffic flow pattern analysis, and cooperative control mechanisms. Specifically, the presentation will introduce:
1. Proactive traffic safety experimental research, i.e. to develop experimental systems for collision avoidance and speed guidance for vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure at intersections.
2. Data collection and analysis research under CVIS, i.e. to collect basic traffic data via various communication modes and perception conditions and analyze traffic state.
3. Traffic control systems under CVIS, i.e. proactive traffic control, bus priority control, etc.

Profs. Jia Hao Wu, Bing Song, Shanghai Maritime University
Prof. Hongchao Liu, Texas Tech University
Integrated Transportation Methodologies with An ITS Solution: A Practical Case in Guangzhou, China.
[ABSTRACT] In this talk, we will discuss applications of advanced integrated transportation methodologies in Panyu District of Guangzhou, the third largest city in China. In this project, we combined the transportation plan, road design, traffic control and management to provide a package of the transportation solutions. We performed extensive transportation surveys of over ten thousand households and over 50 intersection and road segments. We also compiled land use data and general plans for the existing and year 2020 including the road networks and transit systems. Based on the extensive discussions, surveys and modeling analysis, we identified transportation planning related issues such as the low road density for minor roads and the congested area in both short and long term. Then we focused on five bottleneck areas and intersections based on the wider regional analysis with detailed road designs, traffic signs and traffic signal control strategies. In addition, we redesigned a business/shopping corridor in Guangzhou and proposed an adaptive traffic control solution. Based on an analysis using the macro and micro modeling approach, we showed that travel times and the number of stops can be reduced by 20% or more. This result is similar to what we saw in the recent practices in the US as well. These proposed solutions have been accepted in 2012 and will be implemented in 2013 in Panyu District area. A preliminary result of an advanced adaptive traffic control system based on an ACS Lite technology will be shown.

Prof. Gang Li, University of Science and Technology of Beijing
Mr. Qin Tian, Dr. Feirong Shi, Institute of Trans. Planning & Design of Shanxi
Integrating Safety Prevention and Security Surveillance into Highway Video Traffic Monitoring System: Innovative Experience in China Western Areas. [pdf]
[ABSTRACT] The highway video-based monitoring systems are conventionally designed and built with focused functions around toll management in China roadway infrastructures, particularly freeways for the present. With rapid development of freeway infrastructures and tremendous growth of roadway traffic in recent years, big safety concerns have been emerging with much higher frequency of highway accidents and security issues involved in highways. The existing highway monitoring systems are obviously not satisfied with the need of handling the emerging challenges, from the perspectives of systematic planning, station layout over the network, to functional expansion. This presentation will introduce a methodology to address the identified challenges through developing an alternative framework for optimizing the existing highways video monitoring systems with full scaled functions to all the surveillance and monitoring devices at key locations of highways. In addition to regular vehicles, the main surveillance targets include hazardous cargo shipment (e.g., dangerous chemicals and fireworks), long-distance freight vehicles and intercity transit buses, security sensitive spots (e.g., channels, large-scaled bridges, and transfer centers), and hot/black spots of highways (e.g., location with high frequency of accidents, security inspection points). The framework also provides the guidance with engineering measures to create layout plans for deploying monitoring devices integrated with internet techniques. Management spots are classified in the guidance into seven categories: channel, high-frequent accident section, large-scaled infrastructure (such as bridge and interchange), security access point (for security inspection), permanent traffic monitoring station, service area, and toll payment station.
In the case study, characteristics of system planning and efficiency of the existing highway video monitoring systems in the western areas of China, which are mostly rolling or mountainous terrains, are comprehensively reviewed. The review result and the developed framework are based in developing the architecture of the intelligent surveillance and preemptive safety prevention system for the study areas. In this system, advanced traffic safety accidents online detection techniques are utilized, and its application scope is expanded to a large-scaled highway network with focus on monitoring movements of vehicles, pedestrians, and goods, which are involved in the seven categorized management spots. Some specific functions are designed to deal with real-time observations of the critical traffic condition and analysis of travel behaviors, including traffic jamming, parking, using wrong way, leaving suspicious stuff, entering authorized entrance, and so on. The primary purpose of optimizing the existing highway video monitoring systems enables the device layout to reach an intelligent detection and quickly track on traffic safety risky behaviors that may be influenced by involved roadway users. It would provide supportive information and functions to help make quick responsive actions with minimum disturbance on pedestrians and normal traffic.