An analysis of Atlanta road surface temperatures for the improvement of urban transit
Harris, Kelly Damen
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Winter provides myriad challenges for urban areas covering roads with often unseen layers of ice causing collisions and traffic jams and threatening public safety and economic sustainability. Urban transit systems are not immune to these seasonal detriments, however, these systems can provide critical services in a range of inclement weather. This study uses data from road weather sensors in North Georgia to analyze variations in road surface temperature (RST) in order to provide a scientific basis for winter transit operational policy. The research objectives are to (1) identify major physical factors in the movement and transfer of heat in and out of the road surface, (2) to understand how these physical factors interact with each other, and (3) to use the results to improve the efficiency of urban transit in winter. The major findings suggest that insolation accrued over the course of the day, moisture and precipitation, and traffic volumes all play large roles in driving variation in RST.