Adapting a Four-Step MPO Travel Model for Wildfire Evacuation Planning: A Practical Application from Colorado Springs

In the wake of a number of planned and unplanned evacuations that have taken place throughout the U.S. in recent years, the need for applied transportation planning and modeling in the area of emergency evacuation strategy has never been stronger. In this paper, the authors explain how a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) traffic model was adapted for use as a wildfire evacuation planning tool and how the analysis results were put into active use by the emergency response community of Colorado Springs. Addressed are model inputs and assumptions, emergency scenarios, traffic control strategies, shelters or destinations of evacuees, and evacuation time frames. On the model side the authors address networks, household auto ownership assumptions, evacuee shelter locations, group quarters, road capacity, transit use, contra-flow assumptions, background traffic, and the next step of moving the evacuation model results to a actionable tool for use by emergency responders. The authors also show how they utilized a year-long collaboration with the heads of the fire and police emergency response in Colorado Springs and how feedback from these groups improved evacuation response planning. While the emergency evacuation model was developed and refined for western mountainous cities like Colorado Springs that have residential areas in very dry foothill-type terrain, the approach has value for other areas of the west as well as flat areas where planned evacuation may take place.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • The DVD lists the title of this paper as: Adapting Four-Step MPO Travel Model for Wildfire Evacuation Planning: Practical Application from Colorado Springs.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Paz de Araujo, Maureen
    • Casper, Craig T
    • Lupa, Mary R
    • Hershkowitz, Paul
    • Waters, Bret
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2011


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; Maps; Tables;
  • Pagination: 16p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 90th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01336883
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 11-0471
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 17 2011 5:27PM