Characterization of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Signalized Intersections Using Probe Vehicle Data
Probe vehicle speed data are being used to evaluate traffic congestion characteristics, resiliency, and network response at local, corridor, and regional levels. A better understanding of changes in traffic characteristics, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, can be realized through the analysis of spatially located, temporal speed data. This paper explores the possibility to use probe vehicle data sets to quantify the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19), which closed New Jersey State schools and buildings starting around March 18, 2020. The preliminary research analyzed about 500,000 speed records over a 21 week period at two intersections in Northern New Jersey to numerically and visually characterize the speed patterns. A simplistic comparison of average speeds binned in 15, 10, and 1-minute increments was conducted to quantify the change in vehicle travel speeds. Although further research and statistical analysis is necessary to evaluate the data as it relates to the New Jersey State pandemic policies, the preliminary results indicate that school closures and stay-at-home orders effectively increased speeds at the two study sites. Based on these results a statewide analysis, with evolving performance metrics, will be conducted.
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