IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Queuing and Statistical Analysis of Freeway Bottleneck Formation


  • Shantanu Das
  • David Levinson

    () (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)


A modified approach to treat traffic flow parameters (flow, density and speed) has been introduced in this paper. A queuing analysis has been conducted on traffic flow data on Interstate 94 in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. A methodology has been developed to calibrate loop detector count data. Corrected flow data has been subjected to analysis using queuing analysis to compute densities and speeds on freeway sections. Statistical analysis identifies 'active bottleneck' locations on freeways and sections where bottlenecks occur because of disturbances caused by downstream bottlenecks propagating backwards in the form of shockwaves. A sample of six days on Interstate 94 was considered for the analysis. Our analysis reveals that the same section cannot always be characterized as a 'bottleneck' location; at some times it is active and at others, it is subject to downstream bottlenecks. Traffic flow characteristics change and that leads to changing situations on each freeway section.

Suggested Citation

  • Shantanu Das & David Levinson, 2004. "A Queuing and Statistical Analysis of Freeway Bottleneck Formation," Working Papers 200402, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:bottleneckformation

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2007
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chung, Koohong & Cassidy, Michael, 2002. "Testing Daganzo's Behavioral Theory for Multi-lane Freeway Traffic," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt4dt1k17h, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    2. Bertini, Robert L. & Cassidy, Michael J., 2002. "Some observed queue discharge features at a freeway bottleneck downstream of a merge," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 683-697, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:bottleneckformation. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Levinson). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.