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Traffic Forecasting at Natalio Bacalso Street, Cebu City

Jeany M. Noquillo, Jamaica M. Quimod, and Shaddai Cristine S. Taping

Traffic congestion is a major problem that is faced by almost all of the countries
in the world. This has brought about economic loss within those affected areas since the
exchange of goods is being delayed. In order to address this problem many countries use
the principles of traffic forecasting to predict the future traffic volume demand thus finding
solutions for future traffic congestion. Traffic forecasting is a process of predicting the
amount or volume of vehicles that will be using a certain highway. It is used commonly in
transportation planning where the researchers can determine the solutions on how to
prevent that certain highway to be congested in the future. The aim of this study is to
generate a traffic prediction model in order to forecast the future traffic situation of the
studied area. In this study we will develop a new model of forecasting traffic volume by
modifying the model presented by Nicholas Garber et. al. in the book Transportation
Infrastructure Engineering A Multi-Modal Integration IS Edition through adding or
considering the following factors: capacity and level of service of the road, types of
vehicles using the road, destination path, functionality of traffic control devices, frequency
of accidents, weather, special events, and route selection through the use of a data
simulation program.
Various models in traffic prediction have been formulated by many researchers
around the globe. GM or the gray system model was developed by Yisheng An, Hua Chui,
Xiangmo Zhao which is used to predict future traffic volume even if there is a gap in
historical traffic volume data. The Online Support for Vector machine for Regression (OLSVR) by Noel, et. al.is use to predict short term freeway traffic flow under both typical and

atypical condition. Some other researches related on traffic forecasting are Trafficcongestion forecasting algorithm based on pheromone communication model by Satoshi
Kurihara, 2013 which is being used in Japan, Trip quantity prediction by preliminary
analysis of fuel comsumption by Hakimelahi, et. al., Traffic growth rate estimation using
transport demand elasticity method: a case study for national highway-63 by Kamlimath,
et. al.
In order to predict the traffic volume accurately, many factors must be considered.
The data gathering of these factors is very tedious especially here in the Cebu since no
previous studies have been made. When using the conventional way of predicting traffic,
researchers must conduct a home interview and/or roadside interview surveys (Traffic and
Highway Engineering 4th Ed., Garber,N., Hoel,L.) which is time consuming.
This study will be able to simulate a more accurate traffic forecasting model
without undergoing a tiresome work of getting the extensive data. Through the use of a data
simulation program there is no need to conduct surveys. Traffic forecasting will be much
easier and faster.



From the book Transportation Infrastructure Engineering, International Student Ed.
by N. Garber et.al, they suggested the F = P(1+i)n model to give an alternative way of
predicting traffic volume.
P = present traffic volume

F= future traffic volume

i = growth rate expressed in decimal
n = number of years
However, this model only focuses on existing traffic data. The accuracy of traffic
data is also questionable due to instability of traffic patterns because of drivers attitude with
regards to trip-oriented decisions, his/her destination path, the type of vehicle he/she will be
using, and the route he/she will be taking (in case of private vehicles which dont require
certain routes to follow unlike PUVs).
Through further reading and based on observation and actual experience, the model
presented misses the following factors:

Capacity of Road. The Level of Service (LOS) of a certain multi-lane highway segment
measures motorists perceptions on the operational conditions of the existing road facility
and will assess how well the facility is operating. When the number of vehicles passing
through the given segment exceeds its allowable capacity, this may lead to traffic
congestion in the given area.
Type of vehicle. There are mainly two types of vehicles: passenger cars and trucks. If
larger sizes of vehicles (trucks) pass a certain highway segment consecutively, it may
occupy the whole area of the road segment and will accommodate lesser number of
vehicles. However, if smaller sizes of vehicles (passenger cars) occupy a road segment, it
can accommodate a larger number of cars.
Destination path. For areas or roadways surrounded by establishments such as shopping
centers, universities, church, public market and etc., it may influence traffic due to the
fact that they serve the people a function for economic activity.
Route selection. For private vehicles which can decide freely on what route to take unlike
PUVs, travelers will seek alternative routes that will take them less time than the
congested or impassable routes. In every one mode of vehicle, there may be one or more
route that can be used to travel between two different locations.
Functionality of traffic lights and traffic enforcers. Some highways have both traffic
lights and enforcers while some only have either of the two. Traffic enforcers are usually
the ones to regulate traffic in place for traffic lights not functioning well but in some
instances, traffic enforcers respond late which cause drivers to drive anyway they want
and further result to traffic congestion in the area.
Frequency of accidents. Transportation accident..is a commonly accepted word for an
occurrence involving one or more transportation vehicles in a collision that results in
property damages, injury, or death. Traffic streams can be congested for the reason of
unplanned investigative traffic reports and how long the accident has been responded.
Weather condition. A calm weather or with disturbance both affect the traffic of a given
highway segment. On a rainy or stormy weather, some may just bear with the traffic

especially when its flooding just to go to a very important appointment while others just
want to avoid the traffic and just stay in their homes. On the other hand, a calm weather
may result to people wanting to go to malls and other entertainment hubs to enjoy
themselves which may cause traffic congestion.
Special events. This includes planned calendar days where events are being celebrated in
an area. This may cause traffic because people living from far places go to the city for
social gatherings or meetings.
The data of the factors mentioned will be gathered through data simulation using
the statistical software called Minitab. Minitab is a specialized computer program for
statistical analysis developed by Minitab Incorporated.

Existing Model:
Simple Compound Interest
F = P(1+i)n

NonAvailability of



Accuracy of Data


Capacity of Road

Type of vehicle


Frequency of

Destination path

Weather condition

Special events


Functionality of Traffic
Lights and Traffic


The researchers will obtain a present traffic volume (P) data by conducting a traffic

count in a certain highway segment. This will be done by conducting a 1-hour traffic
volume count in every 15 minutes during the peak hour of the day. Then, a data on AADT
or Annual Average Daily Traffic will be acquired by sending a written request to LTO
(Land Transportation Office) Region VII. The growth rate (i) will then be computed using
the AADT. Once the growth rate has been computed, the researchers will solve for the
future traffic volume using the simple compound interest formula,
F=P +i)
Where, P = present traffic volume
F= future traffic volume
i = growth rate expressed in decimal
n = number of years
Then, the Level of Service (LOS) of the road segment will be computed using the collected
traffic count data. Then, a Peak Hour Factor (PHF) will be acquired using the formula,
PHF = 4 V 15
Where V = total peak hour volume in a 1-hour period
V15 = largest 15-minute volume during 1-hour period
After that, the Heavy Vehicle Adjustment factor (fHV) will be computed through the
f HV =

1+ PT ( E T 1 ) + P R (E R 1)

Where, PT = Portion of Trucks and Buses

PR = Portion of Recreational Vehicles
ET = Passenger car equivalency for trucks and buses
ER = Passenger car equivalency for recreational vehicles
Afterwards, compute the 15-minute flow rate in passenger cars per hour (vP),
v p=
Where, N = number of vehicles

fp = 1
Then, determine the Free Flow Speed (FFS),
Where, BFFS = Base Free Flow Speed
fLW = Adjustment factor for lane width
fLC = Adjustment factor for lateral clearance
fM = Adjustment factor for median
fA = Adjustment factor for access lanes
Next, solve for the Density of the highway using the formula,
Density= P
After computing for the density, the researchers will then determine its Level of Service
using the table,
Simulation of data will then be done using Minitab considering the following factors:
Capacity of Road, Type of vehicle, Destination path, Route selection,
Functionality of traffic lights and traffic enforcers, Frequency of accidents, Weather
condition, and Special events
After data simulation, a new model will then be acquired giving a new result on the
prediction of traffic. The researchers will compare this result to the result specified by the
existing model given above.