A framework for an on-demand dangerous goods routing support system for the metro Vancouver area

Karim El-Basyouny, Tarek Sayed


This paper proposes a framework that integrates existing climate conditions with a GeographicalInformation System (GIS) to develop an on-demand dangerous goods (DG) routing supportsystem. The framework focuses on mitigating the risks associated with DG transportationvia route selection. Evidently, DG routing involves a number of decisions that require theconsideration of multiple and sometimes conflicting risks. As a result, the framework includesa number of different routing criteria pertaining to safety, efficiency, security, and cost.The framework was applied to a large-scale transportation network representing the MetroVancouver area. The network was represented spatially in a GIS database along with a real-timedispersion plume model to simulate a specific chemical release under local weather conditions.The results show that different routing criteria lead to different optimal route choices. Theauthors also compared route selection based on the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG)for protection and isolation actions with route selection based on dispersion models. Thecomparison results show that, when employing the ERG in a small spill scenario, decisionmakersare at risk of exposing a large number of individuals to severe health effects. Vice versa,if the ERG was to be followed in a large spill scenario, many individuals who are not at riskwould be unnecessarily evacuated. This translates into increased evacuation costs, and wastesthe time and effort of emergency personnel. The study shows that these issues are properlyaddressed if a dispersion model is used to refine the estimation of the impact zone by includingmeasures that are specific to the shipment.


Consequence; dangerous goods; dispersion model; probability; risk; routing.

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