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Segregation of traffic by dynamic lane allocation

In urban areas usually there are a lot of on- and off-ramps on a relative short stretch of motorway. Large amounts of local traffic can hinder through traffic, especially during peak hours. These weaving conflicts occur on the most right-hand lane of the motorway, where entering vehicles from the on-ramp search for a gap in the main stream and exiting vehicles try to reach the next off-ramp. This turbulence causes a drop in capacity of the weaving area and eventually spreads out over all lanes of the motorway and may cause congestion. Congestion of the total roadway could have been prevented, because in most cases insufficient use of the most left-hand lane is made by trough traffic.

A possible solution is rebuilding the motorway in a system of physically separated local and express lanes, which is done at the moment at some parts of the A2 freeway. A less rigorous solution is separating through going traffic from local traffic by dynamically allocating them over the lanes of the existing roadway by means of Dynamic Route Information Panels. This type of ‘dynamic segregation’ is a relative new component of Dynamic Traffic Management. The expectation is that this measure will improve traffic flow by reducing weaving conflicts, better flow distribution over all lanes and prevention of a total roadway blockage caused by spillback from an over saturated off-ramp. The objective in this study is to develop and evaluate a control algorithm that dynamically regulates lane assignment for local and through going traffic.

Start date: December 1, 2009
End date: April 15, 2011

Research topic:
Traffic management

Research question:
New traffic management measures

Separation of freeway traffic flows by dynamic lane assignment