Dynamic Coordinated Control System for Emergency Evacuation: Exploration and Assessment

Document Type


Publication Date



Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


In light of more frequent extreme events impacting larger and denser population centers, understanding evacuation processes and developing strategies to make evacuations more efficient has become essential. From a transportation standpoint, evacuation related problems involve multiple dimensions: (1) a demand dimension, (2) a routing dimension, and (3) a control dimension. Focusing on the routing and the control dimensions, the objective of this paper is to explore a dynamic coordination logic that involves different control strategies that result in adaptive route switching in response to prevailing traffic information during extreme events. The corresponding logic can be adopted within the current traffic management framework; the resulting adaptive coordination logic is implemented and tested on a portion of the Maryland Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART) network in the United States. Through the use of the dominant path concept and transforming the transportation network into multiple evacuation corridors, improved evacuation performance measures are reached. The dynamic coordination of existing control tools (i.e., variable message signs, ramp meters, and traffic signals) is better realized on these dominant paths. The numerical results show improvements in travel times and delays experienced by the evacuating vehicles.

Publisher's Statement

© 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)NH.1527-6996.0000197

Publication Title

Natural Hazards Review