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Ramp Meters on Trial: Evidence from the Twin Cities Metering Holiday

Author

Listed:
  • David Levinson

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

  • Lei Zhang

Abstract

Ramp meters in the Twin Cities have been the subject of a recent test of their effectiveness, involving turning them off for 8 weeks. This paper analyzes the results with and without ramp metering for several representative freeways during the afternoon peak period. Seven performance measures: mobility, equity, productivity, consumers' surplus, accessibility, travel time variation and travel demand responses are compared. It is found that ramp meters are particularly helpful for long trips relative to short trips.Ramp metering, while generally beneficial to freeway segments, may not improve trip travel times (including ramp delays). The reduction in travel time variation comprises another benefit from ramp meters. Non-work trips and work trips respond differently to ramp meters. The results are mixed, suggesting a more refined ramp control algorithm,which explicitly considers ramp delay, is in order.

Suggested Citation

  • David Levinson & Lei Zhang, 2006. "Ramp Meters on Trial: Evidence from the Twin Cities Metering Holiday," Working Papers 200604, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:rampmetersontrial
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11299/179940
    File Function: First version, 2007
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Levinson, 2003. "Perspectives on Efficiency in Transportation," Working Papers 200303, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    2. David Levinson & Ajay Kumar, 1994. "Operational Evidence of Changing Travel Patterns," Working Papers 199403, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    3. 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.
    4. Zhang, Lei & Levinson, David, 2004. "Optimal freeway ramp control without origin-destination information," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 869-887, December.
    5. Bogenberger, Klaus & May, Adolf D., 1999. "Advanced Coordinated Traffic Responsive Ramp Metering Strategies," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt3pq977ts, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    6. J W Weibull, 1980. "On the Numerical Measurement of Accessibility," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 12(1), pages 53-67, January.
    7. Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2005. "Balancing Efficiency and Equity of Ramp Meters," Working Papers 200508, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    8. David Levinson & Ajay Kumar, 1995. "A Multi-modal Trip Distribution Model," Working Papers 199503, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    9. David Levinson & Ajay Kumar, 1997. "Density and the Journey to Work," Working Papers 199701, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    10. Small, K. & Noland, R. & Koskenoja, P., 1995. "Socio-economic Attributes And Impacts Of Travel Reliability: A Stated Preference Approach," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt82n2w53k, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    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. Shen, Wei & Zhang, H.M., 2010. "Pareto-improving ramp metering strategies for reducing congestion in the morning commute," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 676-696, November.
    3. Wei Chen & David Levinson, 2004. "Traffic Management Systems," Working Papers 200411, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    4. Coifman, Benjamin A. & Mallika, Ramachandran, 2007. "Distributed surveillance on freeways emphasizing incident detection and verification," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 750-767, October.
    5. Lei Zhang & Feng xie & David Levinson, 2007. "Illusion of Motion: Variation of Subjective Value of Travel Time on Freeways and Ramp Meters," Working Papers 200903, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    6. Satya Muthuswamy & Gary Davis & David Levinson & Panos Michalopoulos, 2004. "Freeway Origin Destination Matrices: Not as Simple as They Seem," Working Papers 000031, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ramp Meters; Evaluation; Equity; Mobility; Accessibility; Productivity; Consumers' Surplus; Travel Time Variation; Travel Demand;

    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
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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