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Traffic Equilibration: The Case of the Twin Cities Ramp Meter Shut Off

  • David Levinson


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

  • Atif Sheikh

In Fall 2000, more than 430 ramp meters in the Twin Cities metropolitan area were shut down in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the metering system. This shutdown disturbed normal traffic patterns and thus traffic equilibrium. The purpose of our research is to examine how long it takes to establish a new equilibrium after a shock to the system, and thus establish the basis for how long these traffic studies should be carried out, as transportation analysts are generally concerned with comparing two equilibrium conditions. The initial results contradict our hypothesis that as the number of weeks since the shutdown increases, the week-to-week change in volume decreases. In fact our results show that not only are the week-to-week changes in volume is greater for shutdown case than for pre-shutdown case, those changes are rising as the experiment proceeded. More research is needed to examine the question of whether and how equilibria form, and we need to examine longer time slices for analysis to consider alternative definitions of equilibria.

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Paper provided by University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 200206.

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Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Proceedings of International Conference on Traffic and Transportation Studies p. 580-587, held in Guilin, China July 2002, ASCE Washington DC.
Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:equilibration
Contact details of provider: Postal: Dept. of Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
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