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A capacity-increasing mechanism in freeway traffic

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  • Kim, Kwangho
  • Cassidy, Michael J.

Abstract

A reason is unveiled for the time-varying pattern in discharge flow that is commonly observed at freeway bottlenecks. We hypothesize that four known effects in freeway traffic can interact upstream of a bottleneck in ways that trigger periodic bursts in its discharge flow. Repeated observations of a 3-km freeway stretch support the hypothesis. Controlled experiments show that the capacity-increasing mechanism can be favorably modulated by metering the site’s on-ramps in an unconventional manner. The unconventional strategy repeatedly produced higher average discharge flows and shorter on-ramp queues than did a more traditional metering policy.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transb:v:46:y:2012:i:9:p:1260-1272
    DOI: 10.1016/j.trb.2012.06.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zhang, Lei & Levinson, David, 2010. "Ramp metering and freeway bottleneck capacity," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 218-235, May.
    2. Daganzo, Carlos F. & Cassidy, Michael J., 2008. "Effects of high occupancy vehicle lanes on freeway congestion," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 42(10), pages 861-872, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Cassidy, Michael J. & Windover, John R., 1998. "Driver memory: Motorist selection and retention of individualized headways in highway traffic," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 129-137, February.
    5. 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.
    6. Newell, G. F., 1993. "A simplified theory of kinematic waves in highway traffic, part I: General theory," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 281-287, August.
    7. Cassidy, Michael J. & Rudjanakanoknad, Jittichai, 2005. "Increasing the capacity of an isolated merge by metering its on-ramp," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 896-913, December.
    8. 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.
    9. Rudjanakanoknad, Jittichai, 2005. "Increasing Freeway Merge Capacity Through On-Ramp Metering," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt3js9x18d, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
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    1. repec:eee:transb:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:438-457 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jin, Wen-Long & Gan, Qi-Jian & Lebacque, Jean-Patrick, 2015. "A kinematic wave theory of capacity drop," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 81(P1), pages 316-329.
    3. Cassidy, Michael J & Kim, Kwangho, 2015. "Spatiotemporal Studies of Traffic Phenomenon on Freeways with Limited-access Special Lanes," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt8j0585hg, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.

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