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Effectiveness of rush-hour lanes and plus-lanes

Managed lanes have been operational in the Netherlands since 1996. They are intended as a measure to increase capacity without the need to add an extra lane to the cross section. Managed lanes are designed in many forms. In the Netherlands, two main forms are applied and will be evaluated in this research: rush-hour lanes (managed lanes on the right side of a road section) and plus-lanes (managed lanes on the left side of a road section).

Individually, rush-hour lanes and plus-lanes have been evaluated several times for their effectiveness. Comparing the differences in effectiveness of the two is interesting, because they have both similarities as differences. This research will make use of long-term data and compares different rush-hour lane – and plus-lane designs with each-other. Focusing on different parts of the rush-hour lanes and plus-lanes (at the start of the section, halfway the section and at the end of the section), the data will result in main hypotheses of the driving behavior at these managed lanes. This change in behaviour is interesting and will be researched in detail by making use of a driving simulator. Creating the 3D driving environment as well as programming the computer aided vehicles are the most important aspects of this driving simulator study.

The link between design factors and human factors has not yet been made. That link will be the main focus point for this research and therefore the main goal is to find the human factors and design factors that cause differences in effectiveness between rush-hour lanes and plus-lanes. For Rijkswaterstaat it is important to gain more insight into these human factors as they provide information for policy making at future projects.

Start date: February 6, 2012
End date: November 1, 2012

Research topic:
Traffic management

Research question:
Rush-hour lanes

Performance of Rush-hour and Plus Lanes – A study to behavioral and design factors