Technical Support for Implementation of Freeway Network Simulation Software
Eil Kwon, Ramesh Kota
Report no. MnDOT 2001-03
Topics: Traffic Modeling and Data
This report summarizes the results from the technical support and testing of the freeway traffic simulation software developed at the University of Minnesota. The University's civil engineering department developed and implemented an experimental course that addressed fundamental theories in traffic flow modeling and simulation. They also incorporated a set of an online help manual into simulation software. Software testing was conducted through two sets of case studies involving the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane and ramp metering simulation modules. The HOV lane case study used a 10-mile section of the westbound I-94 freeway with an additional lane and evaluated the performance of alternative HOV lane strategies with different sets of demand and HOV proportions. For the same amount of total demand without assuming induced trips, the higher HOV proportion, the smaller the mainline delay. The ramp metering case study compared the performance of the current MnDOT metering policy with that of a no-metering option for a 16-mile section of the northbound 169 freeway with 20 percent higher demand than the current level. The metering case study showed that the total system delay, including both mainline and ramps, was significantly reduced when the ramps were controlled compared to a no-metering case for a given set of demand. The case studies indicate that the simulation software can be applicable in evaluating alternative design and operational strategies for a given set of demands.