ARB Research Seminar

This page updated July 10, 2013

What Happens When a Freeway is Closed for Repairs? (Results from the Fix I-5 Study, 2008)

Michael Zhang, Ph.D., and Patricia L. Mokhtarian, Ph.D., University of California, Davis

December 08, 2009
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA

Presentation: 1. 2.


A section of Interstate 5 (I-5) from Richards Blvd. to the U.S. Highway 50/Capitol City Freeway Interchange in downtown Sacramento, California, also known as the "boat section", was shut off from May 30 to July 28 last summer (2008) to replace pavement and improve drainage. The boat section is on a major commuting route in the area and carries about 190,000 vehicles on a typical weekday. It is also a major truck route in the central valley.  The public were advised to take transit, telecommute, carpool, use alternative routes and alternative work schedules, and reduce the number of trips to the affected area to relive traffic congestion and reduce air pollution during the I-5 closures.

In this talk we will present our findings of our Fix I-5 study funded by the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), through which various kinds of traffic, transit and travel behavior data were collected before, during and after the I-5 closures. we'll show where and how we collected the data, and what the data on the ground reveal about changes in vehicular traffic flow patterns and transit ridership in the region, as well as data from three internet based surveys (two are analyzed to-date) reveal about commuters' travel choices and behavioral changes during the Fix I-5 project.

Speaker Biography

Michael Zhang, Ph.D., is currently a Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at University of California Davis. He is also affiliated with the Institute of  Transportation Studies, and a faculty member in the Graduate Program of  Transportation Technology and Policy and the Graduate Program of Applied Mathematics at UC Davis. Dr. Zhang's current research focuses on applications of systems theory to transportation systems analysis and operations. Specific topics include traffic flow modeling, adaptive ramp metering, estimation of Origin-Destination demands, work zone and corridor traffic management, congestion pricing, and intelligent transportation systems such as the application of wireless communications and grid computing technology to distributed, on-demand traffic management.  Professor Zhang is an Area Editor of the Journal of Networks and Spatial Economics and Associate Editor of Transportation Research, Part B: Methodological.  Dr. Zhang received his BS degree in Civil Engineering from Tongji University (Shanghai, China), and his MS and PhD degrees in Engineering from University of California Irvine. Prior to his UC Davis appointment, he has taught at the University of Iowa from 1995 to 1998.

Patricia L. Mokhtarian, Ph.D., is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Associate Director for Education of the Institute of Transportation Studies, and Chair of the interdisciplinary graduate program in Transportation Technology and Policy at the University of California, Davis.  Dr. Mokhtarian joined UC Davis in 1990, after nine years in regional planning and con≠sulting in Southern California.  Dr. Mokhtarian has specialized in the study of travel behavior for more than 30 years.  A key research interest has been the impacts of land use on travel behavior, with addi≠tional interests in the impact of telecom≠munications technology on travel, conges≠tion-response behavior, attitudes toward mobility, adoption of new transportation technologies, and the transportation/air quality impacts of transportation demand manage≠ment mea≠sures.   Dr. Mokhtarian has authored or co-authored more than 160 refereed journal articles, technical reports, and other publications (  Dr. Mokhtarian teaches undergraduate probability and statistics, and graduate courses in transportation survey methods and discrete choice modeling.  Her PhD is from Northwestern University.

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