Miami-Dade 2040 LRTP - Oct. 23, 2014

3-14| MOBILITY OPTIONS 8 Forecasting LRTP projects should effectively and efficiently serve the needs of the traveling public and goods movement in the region. As such, a critical phase in the development or update of the LRTP is the identification of needed improvements, which relies on a forecasting process to determine where and how much improvement will be needed in the horizon year (2040). The process of identifying needed improvements requires input from several sources, including: local agencies’ master plans; the LRTP Steering Committee; goals, objectives, and visions for the MPO; and travel demand forecast models. Although all forms of input must be considered, travel demand models are unique in that they allow decision-makers the ability to understand how the identified projects will perform when interacting with the existing infrastructure and other projects. The recent development of an advanced activity-based version of the Southeast Regional Planning Model (SERPM7) has provided planners with a greater level of detailed information to identify local transportation needs. One of the trade-offs, however, of this greater level of detail is a more time intensive process to utilize the model. This inherently limits the use of the model, in terms of extensive testing of various improvements or scenarios. In an effort to optimize the transportation needs assessment process, a simple Mobility Needs Assessment Tool (MNAT) was developed to streamline the travel demand forecasting methodology. Use of the MNAT enables reservation of the SERPM7 for principal scenario testing, while the MNAT can be utilized for mobility assessments in corridors and real-time testing of the mobility benefits of improvements. The MNAT is a streamlined corridor planning tool with several advantages over traditional modeling and planning tools. After the initial setup, the tool is simple to conceptualize needs and interpret the results. All variables are self-explanatory and changes are made through simple drop down menus (e.g. number of added lanes). The MNAT is ideal for use during meetings where results are provided “on-the-fly” without the need to run the travel demand model. As a mobility tool the MNAT can incorporate both highway and transit improvements for a given corridor. It is important to note that the focus of MNAT is strictly limited to assessing mobility at the corridor level and to enhance the needs assessment process. The Mobility Needs Assessment Tool (MNAT) utilizes a full SERPM7 model run as an initial input to inform and define the identified corridors, based on dominant travel patterns within the County, and to process the performance of the transportation infrastructure within those corridors. The network scenario utilized for this purpose is the Existing-plus-Committed, which represents a minimum investment scenario inclusive of all capacity improvements programmed in the first five years of the LRTP, as adopted in the Miami-Dade Transportation Improvement Program. The short term Existing-plus-Committed network scenario is typically simulated with horizon year socioeconomic data inputs in order to identify deficiencies in the transportation system. Using the MNAT, the results of the Existing-plus-Committed simulation are manipulated in the spreadsheet tool to assess the benefits of various capacity improvements, including the addition of highway lanes; operational improvements to existing lanes; and the addition of transit services in terms of both new routes and existing route frequency improvements. While the MNAT is not equipped to provide full impact simulations of these improvements, it offers order of magnitude benefits that enable a quick assessment in a committee setting of the corridor and system planning process. MNAT Tool