Employment of the Traffic Management Laboratory (TRAMLAB) for Evaluating Ramp Control Strategies in the Twin Cities - Summary


Panos Michalopoulos, John Hourdakis, K Muralidhar, A Sekhar, V Subramaniam

June 2002

Report no. Mn/DOT 2003-06S

As freeway traffic congestion spreads ramp metering is implemented to address the problem. However, recently there is increasing opposition to freeway ramp control caused by excessive ramp delays. The objective of this research is to employ a recently developed tool called Traffic Management Laboratory (TRAMLAB) for assessing the effectiveness of Mn/DOT's control strategy in three Twin Cities freeway sections totaling approximately 65 miles. The feasibility of a corridor simulation will be followed by the selection and preliminary model development of the combination of an arterial and a freeway in the Twin Cities. As a result of this testing, TRAMLAB will evolve into an effective tool for developing control strategies that could reduce ramp delays without excessively increasing freeway congestion. Finally, a new traffic management concept for early detection of incident prone traffic conditions will be developed and integrated to traffic management through Ramp Metering and Variable Message Signs in order to smooth flow and prevent (to the extend possible) incident occurrence, thereby further reducing delays and improving safety. Even though this proposal focuses on evaluating ramp metering and implementing a concept recently developed in a current project, we also address the more general issue of research continuity and suggest a strategic partnership with MnDOT. Keywords-Traffic Simulation, Traffic Control, Corridor Control, Ramp Metering, Accident Prevention, Machine, Vision Detector, Freeway

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