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Increasing the capacity of an isolated merge by metering its on-ramp

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  • Cassidy, Michael J.
  • Rudjanakanoknad, Jittichai
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    Abstract

    Measurements taken downstream of freeway/on-ramp merges have previously shown that discharge flow diminishes when a merge becomes an isolated bottleneck. By means of observation and experiment, we show here that metering an on-ramp can recover the higher discharge flow at a merge and thereby increase the merge capacity. Detailed observations were collected at a single merge using video. These data revealed that the reductions in discharge flow are triggered by a queue that forms near the merge in the freeway shoulder lane and then spreads laterally, as drivers change lanes to maneuver around slow traffic. Our experiments show that once restrictive metering mitigated this shoulder lane queue, high outflows often returned to the median lane. High merge outflows could be restored in all freeway lanes by then relaxing the metering rate so that inflows from the on-ramp increased. Although outflows recovered in this fashion were not sustained for periods greater than 13Â min, the findings are the first real evidence that ramp metering can favorably affect the capacity of an isolated merge. Furthermore, these findings point to control strategies that might generate higher outflows for more prolonged periods and increase merge capacity even more. Finally, the findings uncover details of merge operation that are essential for developing realistic theories of merging traffic.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part B: Methodological.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 10 (December)
    Pages: 896-913

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transb:v:39:y:2005:i:10:p:896-913

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Cassidy, Michael J. & Anani, Shadi B. & Haigwood, John M., 2002. "Study of freeway traffic near an off-ramp," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 563-572, July.
    2. Daganzo, Carlos F. & Laval, Jorge & Munoz, Juan Carlos, 2002. "Ten Strategies for Freeway Congestion Mitigation with Advanced Technologies," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt4kd6v6qf, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    3. Daganzo, Carlos F., 1995. "The cell transmission model, part II: Network traffic," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 79-93, April.
    4. Haj-Salem, Habib & Papageorgiou, Marcos, 1995. "Ramp metering impact on urban corridor traffic: Field results," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 303-319, July.
    5. Munoz, Juan Carlos & Daganzo, Carlos F, 2002. "Fingerprinting Traffic From Static Freeway Sensors," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1mf4n2w8, University of California Transportation Center.
    6. Muñoz, Juan Carlos & Daganzo, Carlos F., 2002. "The bottleneck mechanism of a freeway diverge," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 483-505, July.
    7. Cassidy, Michael J. & Bertini, Robert L., 1999. "Some traffic features at freeway bottlenecks," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 25-42, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Patire, Anthony D. & Cassidy, Michael J., 2010. "A congestion mechanism for uphill expressways, Part I: the shoulder lane "release valve"," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt1kk127zn, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    2. Menendez, Monica & Daganzo, Carlos F., 2007. "Effects of HOV lanes on freeway bottlenecks," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 809-822, October.
    3. Zheng, Zuduo, 2014. "Recent developments and research needs in modeling lane changing," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 16-32.
    4. Lee, Joon & Cassidy, Michael J, 2008. "An Empirical and Theoretical Study of Freeway Weave Bottlenecks," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2970816w, University of California Transportation Center.
    5. Leclercq, Ludovic & Laval, Jorge A. & Chiabaut, Nicolas, 2011. "Capacity drops at merges: An endogenous model," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1302-1313.
    6. Jin, Wen-Long, 2013. "A multi-commodity Lighthill–Whitham–Richards model of lane-changing traffic flow," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 361-377.
    7. Ng, Chen Feng & Small, Kenneth, 2011. "Tradeoffs among Free-flow Speed, Capacity, Cost, and Environmental Footprint in Highway Design," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1nz5904j, University of California Transportation Center.
    8. Laval, Jorge A. & Leclercq, Ludovic, 2008. "Microscopic modeling of the relaxation phenomenon using a macroscopic lane-changing model," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 511-522, July.
    9. Cassidy, Michael J. & Jang, Kitae & Daganzo, Carlos F., 2010. "The smoothing effect of carpool lanes on freeway bottlenecks," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 65-75, February.
    10. Kim, Kwangho & Cassidy, Michael J., 2012. "A capacity-increasing mechanism in freeway traffic," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 46(9), pages 1260-1272.
    11. Chen, Danjue & Ahn, Soyoung & Laval, Jorge & Zheng, Zuduo, 2014. "On the periodicity of traffic oscillations and capacity drop: The role of driver characteristics," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 117-136.
    12. Nishi, Ryosuke & Tomoeda, Akiyasu & Shimura, Kenichiro & Nishinari, Katsuhiro, 2013. "Theory of jam-absorption driving," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 116-129.
    13. Li, Xiaopeng & Ouyang, Yanfeng, 2011. "Characterization of traffic oscillation propagation under nonlinear car-following laws," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1346-1361.
    14. Cassidy, Michael J. & Daganzo, Carlos F. & Jang, Kitae & Chung, Koohong, 2006. "Empirical Reassessment of Traffic Operations: Freeway Bottlenecks and the Case for HOV Lanes," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt31h8z81t, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    15. Jang, Kitae & Cassidy, Michael J., 2012. "Dual influences on vehicle speed in special-use lanes and critique of US regulation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1108-1123.
    16. Jin, Wen-Long, 2010. "A kinematic wave theory of lane-changing traffic flow," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(8-9), pages 1001-1021, September.
    17. Patire, Anthony D. & Cassidy, Michael J., 2011. "Lane changing patterns of bane and benefit: Observations of an uphill expressway," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 656-666, May.
    18. Laval, Jorge A. & Daganzo, Carlos F., 2006. "Lane-changing in traffic streams," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 251-264, March.
    19. Cassidy, Michael J & Jang, Kitae & Daganzo, Carlos F, 2008. "The Smoothing Effect of Carpool Lanes on Freeway Bottlenecks," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt6fk4s29c, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    20. Li, Xiaopeng & Wang, Xin & Ouyang, Yanfeng, 2012. "Prediction and field validation of traffic oscillation propagation under nonlinear car-following laws," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 409-423.
    21. Cassidy, Michael J. & Daganzo, Carlos F. & Jang, Kitae, 2008. "Spatiotemporal Effects of Segregating Different Vehicle Classes on Separate Lanes," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt6c69j2vv, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    22. Li, Xiaopeng & Peng, Fan & Ouyang, Yanfeng, 2010. "Measurement and estimation of traffic oscillation properties," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-14, January.
    23. Chung, Koohong & Rudjanakanoknad, Jittichai & Cassidy, Michael J., 2007. "Relation between traffic density and capacity drop at three freeway bottlenecks," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 82-95, January.

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