Planning Support Systems

The Traffic Management Laboratory is a complete simulation and modeling center, equipped for any project from a single intersection to a metropolitan area. Optimizing traffic signal algorithms, increasing or decreasing travel demand, reconfiguring road networks—the Lab combines digital micro-simulation of traffic with fully configurable signal control hardware to create a complete environment for the development and testing of new traffic control strategies.


GIS/Planning Table

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)/Planning Table

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS)/Planning Table is an interactive horizontal display system that facilitates collaborative planning activities. Combining the flexibility and scale of a cartographer’s drafting table with the graphical capabilities of a GIS workstation, the table gives research teams a highly flexible interactive tool for problem solving. With the ability to layer multiple data sources including aerial photography and digital geospatial data, teams of users can work with many different types of information.

  • Dedicated GIS server integrates geographic datasets, aerial photographs, and simulation outputs
  • Two ceiling-mounted digital projectors create a seamless display surface
  • Pen interface allows users to interactively add annotations to the display
  • Navigation interface can move, rotate, and zoom

Metro Accessibility Matrix

Metro Accessibility Matrix

People who make transportation and land-use decisions in the Twin Cities region have an online “accessibility matrix” that illustrates variations in accessibility to different types of destinations for travelers who drive, bike, walk, or use transit.

The matrix displays four types of maps: accessibility (the ability to reach destinations), mobility (the ability of people to move on the network), travel time (how long it will take to get between census blocks with each of the travel modes), and land use (the distribution of activities by census block).

Users can select up to four filters, including year, mode, time of day, and destination type (such as retail, restaurants, or recreation). The result, for example, could be maps showing the accessibility of jobs between two distant suburbs by transit or by car.