In many countries, industrialization has led to rapid urbanization. Increased frequency of urban flooding is one consequence of the expansion of urban areas which can seriously affect the productivity and livelihoods of urban residents. Therefore, it is of vital importance to study the effects of rainfall and urban flooding on traffic congestion and driver behavior. In this study, a comprehensive method to analyze the influence of urban flooding on traffic congestion was developed. First, a flood simulation was conducted to predict the spatiotemporal distribution of flooding based on Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) and TELAMAC-2D. Second, an agent-based model (ABM) was used to simulate driver behavior during a period of urban flooding, and a car-following model was established. Finally, in order to study the mechanisms behind how urban flooding affects traffic congestion, the impact of flooding on urban traffic was investigated based on a case study of the urban area of Lishui, China, covering an area of 4.4 km2
. It was found that for most events, two-hour rainfall has a certain impact on traffic congestion over a five-hour period, with the greatest impact during the hour following the cessation of the rain. Furthermore, the effects of rainfall with 10- and 20-year return periods were found to be similar and small, whereas the effects with a 50-year return period were obvious. Based on a combined analysis of hydrology and transportation, the proposed methods and conclusions could help to reduce traffic congestion during flood seasons, to facilitate early warning and risk management of urban flooding, and to assist users in making informed decisions regarding travel.
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