Annual report
 New products

Group Title: McTrans newsletter
Title: McTrans newsletter. Vol. 11. No 1.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00078185/00001
 Material Information
Title: McTrans newsletter. Vol. 11. No 1.
Series Title: McTrans newsletter
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Center for Microcomputers in Transportation, College of Engineering, University of Florida
Publisher: Center for Microcomputers in Transportation, College of Engineering, University of Florida
Publication Date: September 1996
Subject: University of Florida.   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Gainesville
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00078185
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida


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Table of Contents
    Annual report
        Page 1
        Page 2
    New products
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
Full Text

Center for Microcomputers in Transportation


Volume 11 Number 1 September 1996

Ten years of service



We are proud to provide you with
our annual report for our tenth year
of service. It is hard to believe that
ten years have gone by since our
humble beginnings with the award
of the FHWA contract in 1986.
Since that time, our growth in mem-
bership, products offered and inter-
national outreach has far exceeded
our expectations and that of others
in our profession. This success was
made possible by the generous
support of individuals from all cor-
ners of the transportation industry.
Along with our growth has come
considerable responsibility. With
approximately 28,600 members
worldwide, and 79,200 products
distributed annually, we recognize
that our mission,
"to serve our national and inter-
national membership and the
transportation profession by
finding, delivering and support-
ing surface transportation soft-
ware of the highest quality for
engineers, planners and other
transportation professionals"
is as appropriate as ever. All of us
at Mc Trans value the relationship
we have with our members and
proprietors, and we continually look
forwaysto improve our service,
products and outreach.

During our tenth year, Mc Trans
added 28 new software products
bringing our total to 440. A dozen
existing products had notable up-
dates, increasing their sophistica-
tion and improving ease of use.
Even with the purging of our mem-
bership database, ourtotal Annual
Distribution Fees increased from
$1.054 M to $1.138 M. We send
our newsletter and ship products to
members as far away as Australia,
and as remote as Mutare, Zimba-
We are kicking off our second de-
cade with a fresh new lookfor both
our newsletter and catalog. To
make our publications more notice-
able, easier and more enjoyable to
read, we have changed from gray
recycled paper and blue print, to
white recycled paper with blue and
black print. We hope you like the
We sincerely thank all of those in
the transportation community who
have supported us and contributed
time and effort over these last ten
years making McTrans a success.
We look forward to serving you
during the next ten years and to the
exciting developments in transpor-
tation the next century will bring.



Transportation Research Center

512 Well Hall, PO Box 116585, Gainesville FL 32611-6585
(352) 392-0378
Messages 1-800-226-1013
McFax (352) 392-3224
McLink (352) 392-3225
E-mail mctrans@ce.ufl.edu
CompuServe 76560,273

2 Cumulative Statistics

Total Membership



Total Software Products








86 87 88 89 90 91 92




93 94 95 96 1986 McTrans isfoundedun-
der a competitive contract from the
Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA) with the objective, "...to fa-
cilitate the exchange of information on
the uses of the microcomputer and
associated software among transpor-
tation professionals." McTransfor-
mally "opened shop" on July 14, 1986
in Weil Hall at the University of
Florida, with Ms. Martha Kirkwood as
the Mc Trans Manager.
1 987 Software Levels of Sup-
port (LOS) are established as a
means of defining distribution fees
based on the cost of providing various
categories of software technical as-
sistance. Privately-developed, propri-
etary software is first offered through
Mc Trans under license agreements
with the developers. The Highway
Capacity Software (HCS) is released
as the first maintained software dis-
tributed by Mc Trans.
1 988 The FHWA contract ends
in May and Mc Transbecomes a full
service, entirely user supported cen-
ter. After only two years, Mc Trans
has approximately 12,000 members
and 90 public domain and 25 propri-
etary products and Bill Sampson be-
comes the Mc Trans Manager, taking
over for Acting Manager, Larry
1989 McTransfillsits 10,000th
order and grows to 145 public do-
main/shareware products and 50
proprietary products. McTranscon-
tinues to display, co-sponsor and
advise to national and international
conferences. Mc Trans becomes the
exclusive distributor for the World
Bank's Highway Design and Mainte-









86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96


nance Standards Model (HDM) and
assumes responsibility of the TIME
Support Center from Vanderbilt for
the distribution and support of transit
1990 McTransannounces
McLink, a 24-hour, PC-based elec-
tronic bulletin board system with con-
ferences, on-line ordering and
downloadable software, including the
Mc Trans catalog on disk, McFinder.
McTranstraining increases with a
TRANSYT-7F course in the Washing-
ton, DC area and the first HCS work-
shop in Orlando.
1 991 McTransmembership
breaks the 20,000 mark and Agency
Licenses are introduced to provide
discounted prices for agency-wide
applications of Mc Trans-maintained
software. The HCS moves to a new
interface with the distribution of re-
lease 2 for HCS-Signals.
1992 McTransfills its 20,000th
order and adds a 1-800 number for
toll-free messages and orders. The
Methodology for Optimizing Signal
Timing (MIOlSIT) series is an-
nounced as a five-volume, compre-
hensive resource, including a refer-
ence manual and users guides for the
Arterial Analysis Package, PASSER-
II, TRANSYT-7F and WHICH soft-
ware packages.
1993 Mc Transfills its 30,000th
order and adds a file manager and
screen saver to the popular McFinder
catalog on disk. The revised Highway
Capacity Manual (HCM) Chapter 7 for
Multilane Highways is distributed in
conjunction with the updated
Multilane module of the HCS.

1994 McTrans is named a "glo-
bal center" as a co-founder of World
Interchange Network (WIN), a global
road transportation knowledge ex-
change network. McLink is improved
with increased speed, more phone
lines and additional conferences and
bulletins focused on technical assis-
tance for several Mc Trans-main-
tained packages. Mc Transco-spon-
sors two Advanced Intersection
Analysis with Computer Models
Seminars with the FHWA and the
Australian Road Research Board.
1995 McTransgoeson line with
a World Wide Web (VWWV)
Homepage (http://www-
mctrans.ce.ufl.edu/), shared with its
parent, the Transportation Research
Center, offering and fills its 40,000th
order. A major upgrade to the HCS,
implementing the 1994 Update to the
HCM, including a release 2 interface
for the Main Menu and the Freeways,
Ramps, Unsignal and Arterials mod-
ules. And, for the first time, the HCM
itself is distributed through Mc Trans.
1996 McTranscelebratesits10
year anniversary and renews its dedi-
cation to its mission, "to serve our
national and international member-
ship and the transportation profession
by finding delivering and supporting
surface transportation software of the
highest quality for engineers, plan-
ners, and other transportation profes-
sionals." The WWVWsite is expanded
to include an on-line catalog, with
plans for on-line ordering, interactive
technical assistance and increased e-
mail interaction.

p ro duc

CORFLO CyberBook
CyberBook 4.5 is an on-line tutorial for
the Federal Highway Administration
simulation model. Based on the course
material developed for the FHWA
CORFLO Training Course, this tutorial
walks you through the features
capabilities, and applications of the
model, complete with simple hands-on
exercises. This graphical, full-color,,
295-page-on-line tutorial was
developed as an AdobeTM AcrobatTM
Portable Document Format (PDF) file
that features hypertext links for easy
navigation and full-text serch for fast
information retrieval. This online guide
also provides a direct World Wide
Web link to TRAF Home Global-the
global home of the TRAF models.
Microsoft@ Windows 3.1,4 MB
RAM, 10 MB free hard disk space,
and 256-color VGA display are
required. For more information,
contact Ku Lee toll-free at
1-800-260-1001, fax:
(703) 903-4996, or e-mail:
CORFLO CyberBook (#CFCB) is
available at LOS 7 for $60.

VisualTraffic is a new traffic assign-
ment program thatworks with Excel
5.0 for Windows or Macintosh. It is
based on manual methods of
forecasting that help the user visualize
the network. VisualTraffic allows
diversity and relieves the user from
designing spreadsheets.
The network can be drawn quickly
with the mouse on a matrix of nodes.
This network then becomes the
interface to input distribution, route
selection and assignments, making it
as simple to understand as manual
techniques with the advantage of
spreadsheets. The user can itemize the
networks to leave a clear record of the
forecast assumptions. Printouts are
report quality.
VisualTraffic is ideal for larger studies
with the following limits:
* 1,000 nodes per network.
* 500 Zone-Trip Generator couplets.
* 25 routes per couplet.
* 25 intersections per route.
VisualTraffic Lite (25 node limit) does
not require any licensing and can be
used on small studies or as an
educational tool. Both versions include
a demonstration.
VisualTraffic (#VTRAF) and
VisualTraffic Lite (#VTRAFLT) are
available for $85 and $5 respectively
at LOS 7 from VisualSoft Company.

TRC Welcomes New Member

Dr. Albert Gan joined the TRC as an
Assistant in Engineering in May 1996.
He received his master's and bachelor's
degrees in Industrial and Systems Engi-
neering and his Ph.D. degree in trans-
portation engineering from the Univer-
sity of Florida.
Dr. Gan currently serves as the TRC
project coordinator for a FHWA project
on traffic software testing, and is in-
volved in a Florida DOT intersection
design project and Mc Trans' HCS/Windows software develop-
ment. In addition, he is teaching a graduate course in Civil Engi-
neering Systems. His research areas include highway safety,
GIS-T, ITS, transportation systems modeling, and microcom-
puter applications in transportation.


Orlando, Florida
Oct. 14-18, 1996.

see you there

I Hosted locally by ITS Florida, a State
Chapter of ITS America. Mc Trans'
parent, the Transportation Research
Center, is actively involved in the
planning and local arrangements.
For information contact:
400 Virginia Ave., S.W., Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20024-2730
Phone: 202-484-4847
Fax: 202-484-3483


"Intelligent Transportation: Realizing the Future."



Florida's Level of Service
Manual and Worksheets
This handbook and the accompanying
* identify Florida's Level of Service
Standards by area type, facility
type, and number of lanes,
* use methodologies established in
the 1994 Highway Capacity
Manual (HCM) Update and Florida
traffic, roadway, and signalization
data, for broad planning applica-
tions and general LOS estimations,
* provide methodologies in easy-to-
use computer models that allow the
analyst to use locally-specific input
data for detailed facility planning.
The values shown in the generalized
tables are based on the definitions and
measurement techniques of the 1994
Highway Capacity Manual Update.
The generalized tables are not

statewide standards; rather, they are
guidelines on the measurement of
highway level of service. The revisions
made to this edition create a much
broader perspective on the methodol-
ogy for computing LOS. This edition
provides substantially more informa-
tion and guidelines on the use of the
models and programs. The manual
was modified to reflect the increased
emphasis on the more detailed
analyses which planners are required
to conduct, especially in contested
situations. Thus, analysts are strongly
encouraged to use the computer
models in all but the most broad
planning applications.
Disk Label Information:
Manual in WP 6.0 Document
Worksheets in Lotus 1-2-3 Worksheets
Florida LOS Worksheets (#FLLOS) by
the Florida DOT is available at LOS 3
for $40.

The HYDRAIN application programs include the main HYDRAIN program and
associated programs, such as editors and configuration software. The main
HYDRAIN application program (HYDRAIN program) integrates and controls
the entire system of Pooled Fund Project software. The HYDRAIN program
supports engineering design and analysis programs and facilitates communica-
tion (data transfer) within the system. It provides a means of file and disk
management. It contains tutorial capabilities and modules. The HYDRAIN
program can review input, output, or other text files.
The engineering programs, input programs and other modules controlled by the
HYDRAIN program are:

* HY8

-Storm Drain and Sanitary Sewer Design and Analysis.
-Open Channel Water Surface Analysis.
-Design Eventversus Return Period.
-FHWA Culvert Analysis and Design.
-Flexible and Rigid Channel Lining Design and Analysis.
-Flow Equation Program.
-USGS National Flood Frequency Program.
-Inputs/Edits HYDRAIN command line data sets.

* Support System Modules.
-DOS Shell (go back and forth to DOS without leaving HYDRAIN).
-System Maintenance (File Housekeeping)
-System Utilities (Change drives, directories, devices, colors).
-System Information.
* Future HYDRAIN Programs- other programs included as desired by the
HYDRAIN user community.
HYDRAIN Version 6.0 (#HYD6) by the FHWA is available at LOS 1 for $350.
Upgrades from version 5.0 and the documentation are available at $50 each.

is a total intersection analysis package
for the design and evaluation of
signalized intersections, roundabouts,
two-way stop, all-way stop and yield
sign control, signalized pedestrian
crossings, and single-point urban
interchanges. The methods used for
different intersection types are well-
integrated to ensure consistency in
comparison of alternative treatments.
SIDRA is an advanced analysis tool
that uses detailed analytical models
coupled with an iterative method to
provide estimates of capacity and
models of capacity and performance
statistics (delay, level of service, queue
length, stop rate, energy, emissions,
cost). It offers the Highway Capacity
Manual 94, Chapter 9 and 10
methods plus many advanced


SIDRA 5 for Windows, the latest
version, runs under Windows 3.1 and
95. It incorporates several new
innovations including timing and
performance estimation methods for
actuated signals, and a new
progression factor for queue length
and related performance measures
allowing for the effects of platooned
arrivals generated by coordinated
SIDRA is applicable to a wide range of
intersection types, including intersec-
tions with 5 or more legs, and can be
used for driving on the left- or right-
hand side of the road. SIDRA can
determine signal timings for pretimed
and actuated signals with simple as
well as complex phrasing arrange-
ments. Unique features of SIDRA

include detailed lane-by-lane analysis;
modeling of drive cycles for estimating
various delay components, fuel
consumption, emissions and operating
cost; shared lane modeling allowing
for lane blockages; modeling of
upstream and downstream short lanes
(turn bays, reduced number of exit
lanes, etc.); and direct modeling of slip
lanes, turn on red and protected-
permitted turns including the effect of
platooned arrivals.
Its input and output graphics
capabilities are well known. These
include intersection, phase, movement
and volume pictures for easy data
checking, intersection pictures with
displays of output statistics for
individual movements, and graphs for
the purposes of optimum cycle time
and design life analysis.
SIDRA Version 5.0 (#SIDRA) by the
Australian Road Research Board is
available at LOS 6 for $825. Extra
copies and an educational version are
also available at $300.


HCS 2.1d Complete
HYDRAIN 6.0 Complete
HY-8 6.0 Complete
NOTE: The HCS Patch is a cumulative process.
Patch "d" includes all changes in previous patches.



Registered users may upgrade
Registered users may upgrade




Version Status

New Strategies to Build A Reliable TRANSYT-7F Model

by Meher P. Malakapalli
Bell-Walker Engineers, Inc.

The analysis of traffic operations in urban areas
typically involves the use of traffic engineering
simulation models. Such analysis may include
existing and future scenarios. Due to the ab-
sence of any other credible method, simulation
is often used by engineers and decision-mak-
ers to examine the future effects of a particular
alternative. TRANSYT-7F1 is increasingly be-
coming one of the most reliable and accepted
optimization/simulation tools for traffic opera-
tions analysis in the transportation engineering
profession. When applied properly, TRANSYT-
7F can produce results that portray a precise
picture of future conditions. However, an erro-
neous TRANSYT-7F model could lead to erro-
neous conclusions regarding alternatives' per-
formance. A dependable model is vital for
successful completion of a project. Methods to
build and check a dependable TRANSYT-7F
model [Ed. The term "model" is used in this article
to referto the data construct -the modeling of the
network- not the computer model itself.], are de-
scribed in this paper.
TRANSYT-7F was used for one of the most recent
projects for Interstate 90/Sunset Way Interchange
Feasibility Study for the Issaquah, Washington
area. The project was sponsored by the City of
Issaquah and was required to satisfy the require-
ments of the City, the Washington State Depart-
ment of Transportation, King County, the FHWA,
and the affected citizens. Several future scenarios
were being evaluated and accurate TRANSYT-7F
results were critical for the success of the project.
Therefore, several new methods to build a factual
model were investigated. These methods applied
particularly to the evaluation of future scenarios.
The following describes several strategies that
were found to be effective building a more accurate
TRANSYT-7F model:
* A network of intersections that includes a free-
way interchange should always have input traffic
volumes that are consistent with the output from
a freeway operations analysis program such as
FREQ1 OPL2. Traffic conditions on the freeway
always dictate the amount of traffic being deliv-
ered to the surface streets. It is important to real-
ize this phenomenon and efforts should be made
to use the output from the freeway program and
adjust raw input volumes to TRANSYT-7F. This
is particularly true if the future scenario being
evaluated has large traffic volumes that will
cause congestion on the freeway. This type of
analysis will not only produce unerring output,
but may in fact act as a feedback for the freeway
operations analysis.
* For prediction of feeder link volumes from up-
stream nodes to downtown nodes, select link
volumes from a transportation model are the
best source. However, the select link runs are
not frequently available, and in these cases, it is
betterto proportion traffic volumes based on
input flows. Ignoring to code any input feeder
volumes may cause a significant shift in the mea-
sures of effectiveness obtained from the model.
Similarly, any known mid-block input flows
should always be included, as these were found
to account for a significant amount of delay.

* The calculation of saturation of flow rates are
best determined using a field study. However,
time and resources do not often permit the use of
such a study. Forthe 1-90/Sunset Way inter-
change study, saturation flow rates were com-
puted using the PASSER 11-903 program. In the
absence of a field study, this was found to be the
most practical and quickest way to obtain satura-
tion flow rates. However, several adjustment
factors have to be ensured for local validity be-
fore using themfspecifically the lane utilization
factors. For a majority of future scenarios with
heavy volumes, lane utilization factors typically
approach 1.0.
* Queue lengths in TRANSYT-7F increase sub-
stantially when volume-to-capacity (v/c) ratios
reach 1.0. Obviously, these can be reduced by
reducing the cycle length. However, queue
lengths for movements with a v/c ratio greater
than 1.0 should be examined for reasonable-
ness before manipulating cycle lengths.
* Due to extensive data input that TRANSYT-7F
requires for a multi-intersection network, there
are numerous possibilities for coding errors.
There are several network errors that
TRANSYT-7F may not recognize from an input
standpoint, but may actually be a significant
misrepresentation. A good example of this is
incorrect feeder link volumes which may be inter-
nally interpreted by TRANSYT-7F as an entirely
different network. There are several areas that
require a thorough inspection, but may not al-
ways be manually possible. A new software,
WinTransyt4 (Beta version), which was devel-
oped at Lawrence Livermore National Labora-
tory by Keith Huffer and Rowland Johnson under
the auspices of FHWA, accomplishes a majority
of checks that are frequently overlooked by the
users but are not reported in TRANSYT-7F as
errors or warnings. This public domain software
was found to be an extremely useful software to
check, correct, and validate several model sce-
narios. Additionally, the layout of the network of
intersections can be graphically viewed on the
screen-a task which TRANSYT-7F is not ca-

pable of. Some of the errors that WinTransyt
reports (which are found to be a very useful
source fora good model build) are listed below:
Two-way links with different lengths
Misdirected external links
Misdirected internal links
Links with multiple flow sources
Links with wrong orientation and invalid up-
stream links
A nice feature of WinTransyt is that it reports the
error and also suggests possible corrections that
can be made. Software such as WinTransyt will
certainly improve the quality of traffic modeling
using complicated simulation tools.
SLand use changes can be evaluated in
TRANSYT-7F without having to run and evaluate
transportation planning models that involve sig-
nificant time and resources. Good judgement on
traffic volume adjustments and appropriate mod-
elling will save both time and effort spent on a
particular scenario. Finally, TRANSYT-7F can
model any type of flyover or interchange configu-
ration, provided an accurate coding is made. McT

1. Traffic Network Study Tool, Version T7F User's
Manual, Release 7.2, University of Florida,
Gainesville, 1994.
2. Demand Estimation Benefit Assessment of
HOV-Lanes for Use with the FREQ10 Model, Insti-
tute of Transportation Studies, University of Califor-
nia, Berkeley, June 1991. [Ed. the FREQ10 model
is available from the University of California, Berke-
3. Progression Analysis Signal System Evalua-
tion Routine 11-90 (PASSER 11-90) User's Manual,
Version 2.0. Texas Transportation Institute, Texas
A&M University, December 1993.
4. Huffer, Keith and Johnson, Rowland. Win-
Transyt User's Guide, Version 1.01. Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory, November 1995.
[Ed. WinTransyt was distributed by LLNL to all
registered T7F users in 1995.]

n e w s I e t t e r

is published fourtimes a year by

the Center for Microcomputers

in Transportation, a program

of the Transportation Research

Center, University of Florida,

Gainesville, FL, an equal oppor-

tunity I affirmative action

institution. Graphic design and

production provided by Gator

Engineering Publication Serv-

ices, University of Florida.


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