Traffic Control Strategies for Congested Freeways and Work ZonesAuthor/Presenter: Pesti, Geza; Wiles, Poonam; Cheu, Ruey Long (Kevin); Songchitruska, Praput; Shelton, Jeff; Cooner, Scott
The primary objective of the research was to identify and evaluate effective ways of improving traffic operations and safety on congested freeways. There was particular interest in finding condition-responsive traffic control solutions for the following problem areas: (1) end-of-queue warning, (2) work zones with lane closure, and (3) queue spillover at exit ramps. Available techniques considered by this research include combination of static and dynamic queue warning systems, dynamic merge control in advance of freeway lane closures, and various traffic control strategies, such as traffic diversion and ramp metering, to mitigate queue spillover at exit ramps.
Three sets of evaluation studies were conducted: first, two queue warning systems deployed on IH 610 and US 59 in Houston, Texas, were evaluated based on field observations. Second, strategies to resolve a ramp spillover problem at an exit ramp in El Paso, Texas, were analyzed using traffic simulations. Third, the Dynamic Merge work zone traffic control concept was evaluated using traffic simulations, and recommendations were developed for its potential use for various work zone types with different lane closure configurations.