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Post-Game Campus Evacuation Simulation

May 12th, 2009

smuparking08Client: SMU Parking Department
Team: Conner Huckaby, Katelyn Pratt, Sarah Rives
Faculty: Prof. Richard Barr      Year: 2007
Documents: final report, final presentation

SMU will finish the construction of the Binkley parking garage in the summer of 2008.  This new facility will open 850 new parking spaces on campus.  However, the Binkley garage opening will cause new traffic troubles on campus because this parking structure is located kiddy-corner to Moody Garage, which has 830 parking spaces.
In the 2008 fall football season, SMU could see full parking facilities due to the combination of student, faculty, and visitor parking.  Currently, SMU expects a car at the top of Moody garage to take 45 minutes to exit campus.  But this 45 minute benchmark was calculated without taking into consideration the new Binkley garage.  If both garages are full, how will traffic exit campus? Furthermore, how fast can both garages empty out? Is there a way to route traffic through campus in order for individual cars to exit campus quickly and with as little blockage and waiting time as possible?
This project simulates four different options SMU can take to route exiting traffic through campus with ProModel software.  It begins by simulating the current evacuation plan in place.  Pinpointing problems allowed us create new models to alleviate intersections, queues, and locations and ultimately decrease the time it takes to clear campus.
After analyzing all four models, we found that SMU should abolish its current traffic evacuation plan.  SMU furthermore should implement an evacuation plan where traffic controllers will force traffic to exit in specific locations based on what garage they are in.  The new plan will clear campus 13 minutes faster and decreases the percentage of full locations.

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