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29.07.2017 | Ausgabe 4/2017 Open Access

Journal of Modern Transportation 4/2017

Risk assessment: method and case study for traffic projects

Journal of Modern Transportation > Ausgabe 4/2017
Xin Yu, Panos D. Prevedouros


A comprehensive project evaluation and decision-making method considering multiple objectives, stakeholders, and attributes of proposed traffic treatments is inherently complicated. Although individual techniques in evaluating operations, safety, economic, and stakeholder objectives are available, a practical method that integrates all these risk factors and their uncertainties into a multi-attribute decision-making tool is absent. A three-level project decision-making process was developed to model and assess multiple-attribute risk in a proposed traffic treatment from the perspective of multiple stakeholders. The direct benefits from reducing delay and safety risk (basic objectives of traffic treatments) are computed in Level 1 with established methods. Feasibility and performance analysis in Level 2 examine site-specific constraints and conduct detailed performance analysis using advanced analysis tools. In Level 3, this paper introduces an innovative and integrated multiple attributes evaluation process under fuzziness and uncertainty (MAFU) process for evaluation and decision-making. The MAFU is a comprehensive and systematic assessment and decision-making procedure that can assess the magnitudes of project performance and to integrate conflicting interests and trade-offs among stakeholders. A case study illustrates the application of MAFU for the selection of a traffic alternative involving several evaluation attributes and stakeholders. Results show that the MAFU produced the smallest variance for each alternative. With traditional cost–benefit evaluation methods, the uncertainty associated with performance of a traffic project in terms of operation, safety, environmental impacts, etc., is unrestricted and cumulative. Therefore, a reliable multi-attribute evaluation of complex traffic projects should not be made with conventional cost–benefit analysis alone but with a process like MAFU.
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