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A simulation study of using active traffic management strategies on congested freeways

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The main objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of using active traffic management (ATM) strategies on freeways in terms of the driver’s behavior and operational impacts. A few test beds were selected to evaluate the impacts of ATM such as speed harmonization, shoulder utilization, and ramp metering. Test beds used in this study were at places where an ATM is either proposed or previously implemented, i.e., where data exists for conditions prior to and after the implementation of ATM. Data collected from the test beds were used in a simulation model to evaluate the impacts of each ATM strategy on speed, travel time, and crash rates. Simulation results indicated that the implementation of speed harmonization on US 90 showed a 14% reduction in crashes and a 2%–3% increase in freeway speed; the implementation of hard shoulders on US 90 showed a 39% increase in travel time, 22% increase in freeway capacity and 60% decrease in delays; and the implementation of ramp metering on US 59 between Bissonnet St. and Fondern road showed a decrease of 23 % in freeway travel time, a 14% increase in freeway speed and 11% decrease in accident rates.


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Correspondence to Dazhi Sun.

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Vadde, R., Sun, D., Sai, J.O. et al. A simulation study of using active traffic management strategies on congested freeways. J. Mod. Transport. 20, 178–184 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03325796

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Key words

  • active traffic management
  • speed harmonization
  • hard shoulder
  • ramp metering