Evaluating Proposed Infrastructure Changes at Yellowstone National Park
As part of the Greater Yellowstone Works project (led by the Idaho National Laboratory and the National Park Service), GoldSim was used as part of the decision making process to evaluate alternatives on a range of issues with regard to repairing an aging infrastructure while preparing for steadily increasing visitation and demands.
One model was used to simulate traffic flow through the North Loop in the Canyon area. Using historical data, traffic and visitation during peak 24-hour periods were modeled. Performance was based on the ability or inability of visitors to access points of interest along route, essentially a surrogate for visitor satisfaction. The model was used to examine consequences of alternative transportation policies (e.g., bus service, elimination of motorhomes and other large vehicles, and expansion of parking facilities).
A second model was used to examine the impacts on infrastructure demands due to changes in the number of visitors and concessionaires. The model simulated water production, waste water treatment and solid waste production as a function of visitation. The model was used to provide a quantitative basis for testing a range of proposed infrastructure changes.