Date of Award
Master of Science
Alan J. Horowitz
Yue Liu, Lingqian Hu
A relationship exists between the economy and the amount of traffic that is observed on
the nation’s roadways. Traffic patterns generally peak during times of economic
prosperity when people are spending more money and new homes and businesses are
being built. On the other hand, as the economy starts becoming more stagnant, people
travel less while home sales decrease and businesses close as fewer patrons shop.
What this thesis attempts to accomplish is to see if an Origin and Destination Estimation
technique is sensitive enough to pick up these economic trends of a region by using
Two sets of traffic counts used in this thesis were obtained by the Wisconsin Department
of Transportation; with one set of the traffic counts recorded prior to the Great Recession
in 2007 and another set of traffic counts after the recession had ended. This provided a
perfect snapshot of the travel behaviors just as the economy was peaking and the travel
behaviors after the economy had recessed. In addition to the recession, the study area,
Southcentral Wisconsin, provides an interesting scenario as a large manufacturing plant
had closed down during the recession leaving thousands of people unemployed.
As this paper will show, economic patterns and trends of a region can been seen by
estimating origin and destinations using traffic counts. In turn, this also provides some
validation to Origin and Destination Estimation that has previously left many planners
and modelers’ skeptical of the technique.
Depies, Joshua William, "Economic Observations Using Origin and Destination Estimation Through Observed Traffic Counts" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 949.