Research Biography of Alan Joel Horowitz


Professor Horowitz received a BS and MS in Engineering and an PhD in Urban Planning from UCLA.

Research Background

Professor Horowitz is a transportation engineer and an urban planner.  His research spans the areas of travel forecasting, driver route-choice behavior, and transportation system design.  His research has been widely disseminated in national and international journals and has been presented at numerous professional society meetings.

Prior to completing his doctorate, he was a member of the staff of Technology Service Corporation where he participated in air quality studies for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Highway Administration.  In December of 1974, Professor Horowitz joined the staff of General Motors Research Laboratories.  While there he served as principal investigator of the “Transportation Systems Measure” project and acted as the co-principal investigator of the “Automobile and Cities” project.  His research included analyses of transportation impacts on residential location, development of procedures for psychological scaling of time spent in travel, and fuel efficiency of automobiles.

Since coming to the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in January 1979, Professor Horowitz has been continuing his research into values of travel time, and conducting new research about urban trip tours, land-use impact assessment, single-route ridership forecasting, trip assignment, subarea focusing, ride quality of highways, intermodal passenger transfer facilities, transportation benefits, freight planning, applications of GIS to transportation networks, hazardous materials routing, driver route choice behavior, and travel forecasting methodology.  Some of his more recent projects are listed below.

Professor Horowitz is a Life Fellow in the Institute of Transportation Engineers and a Charter Member of the American Planning Association. He is a professional engineer (PE) in Wisconsin, and he is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Quick Response System II

The Quick Response System II (QRS II), a popular travel forecasting modeling platform, was created by Professor Horowitz under a contract with the Federal Highway Administration.  Enhancements and maintenance have been supported through user fees.  It is now in its 9th major revision, running under the Windows operating environments.  A 15-zone demo edition of QRS II can be obtained by clicking here.

The General Network Editor

The General Network Editor, written by Professor Horowitz, is now in its 8th major revision, running under the Windows operating environments.  GNE is the principal user interface for QRS II . It includes many concepts from GIS, such as layering, polygons, and link shape.  Particularly unique aspects of GNE’s data structure were communicated in articles published in Transportation Quarterly,  Transportation Research Record, and Transportation Planning and Technology.  A 150-link demo edition of GNE can be obtained by clicking here.

Freight Forecasting

Professor Horowitz has participated in numerous studies intending to improve methods of freight forecasting. He developed a 10-state freight demand microsimulation for the Mid-America Freight Coalition. He had directed several research projects on freight topics for the Center for Freight Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE), he has performed on NCHRP projects related to freight forecasting, and he is a co-author of the original Quick Response Freight Manual. Professor Horowitz developed the first FHWA short course on freight forecasting.

Diversion:  Smart Work Zones and Ramp Meters

Professor Horowitz interest in work zones relates mainly to the topic of driver behavior and reaction to work zones and work-zone traffic control devices. He has lead several studies for the Smart Work Zone Deployment Initiative, pooled fund study.

Professor Horowitz has also participated in multiple studies relating to ramp meter delay and diversion.

Statewide Transportation Forecasting

Professor Horowitz has been involved with the topic of statewide travel forecasting over the past several years. He is the author or co-author of two NCHRP reports on statewide travel forecasting. He has been maintaining the web page for TRB’s Subcommittee on Statewide Travel Forecasting.

Professor Horowitz led a project for the FHWA that involved writing two guidebooks related to statewide transportation planning.  One guidebook concerns methods of statewide travel forecasting.  The second guidebook concerns means by which land and economic development factors may be integrated into statewide transportation plans.  In addition, he developed a short course on statewide travel forecasting for FHWA.

Origin Destination Table Estimation

Professor Horowitz has recently developed some innovative methods of estimating and disaggregating origin-destination tables by using traffic counts.

Evaluation of Intermodal Passenger Transfer Facilities

This report, written for FHWA, is a distillation of opinion from a large number of transit system users, transportation planners, and authors.  The report presents a cafeteria of methods for preliminary design, location and evaluation of intermodal passenger transfer facilities.  In some cases methods were adapted from previous station, terminal or airport studies.  In other cases methods were adapted from multimodal transportation planning.  The full text and graphics of this report can be obtained by clicking here.

Highway Capacity Concepts in Travel Forecasting Models

Professor Horowitz has pursued a line of research over several years on means to better integrate the Highway Capacity Manual into travel forecasting models.  This research was initially supported by FHWA.  This research has included topics relating to (1) all-way stop controlled intersections; (2) traffic assignment algorithms when HCM concepts are included in models; and (3) critiques of the HCM from the standpoint of travel forecasting.  Research results have been published principally in the Transportation Research Record.

Measurement of Transit Benefits

A while back FTA funded a project at UWM (led by Professors Beimborn and Horowitz) to look at benefits of public transit in a broad way and to gain a better understanding of how their measurement can be used to assist decision making.  Results have also been published in the Transportation Research Record. The FTA New Starts evaluation procedure looks amazingly like the framework originally proposed by Beimborn and Horowitz.