, Research Associate Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering
Stephen Zitzow, Former Research Specialist, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering
This project investigated the use of intelligent lane control signs-based active traffic management for incident management on a heavily traveled urban freeway. The subject of the research was the ILCS system on I-94 westbound in downtown Minneapolis. This location was selected because of the frequency of capacity-reducing incidents occurring in this freeway segment. This research aimed to evaluate and quantify the effect the system has on drivers, specifically on inducing/directing a desirable lane-selection behavior. The strength of various uses of the tool in managing traffic during incidents was explored instead of a general level of success in improving traffic. To achieve this goal, the centerpiece of this research was the comparison and modeling of the lane-change rates under different strategies. This was a difficult task because all lane changes in the target freeway section had to be detected and geolocated. The research followed two main thrusts. The first was a detailed analysis of 28 incident events selected among approximately 481 events on record between 2012 and 2013. The second thrust was a statistical analysis testing a number of hypotheses prompted by questions proposed by the project technical advisory panel. In general, it can be concluded that the use of ILCS for incident management has a significant effect on driver behavior, specifically in prompting proper lane selection under capacity-reducing incidents.