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Evaluation of the effects of ramp metering on merging operations

By P. Zheng and M. McDonald


Merging on motorways represents one of the most difficult and dynamic<br/>maneuvers of all driving subtasks. Merging operations at uncontrolled<br/>ramp junctions have been extensively investigated. With the rapid implementation<br/>of ramp metering techniques, many junctions are now operated<br/>under ramp metering control. Little research has been done to<br/>investigate the possible effects of ramp metering on the merging operation.<br/>The research described in this paper focuses on the comparisons of<br/>merging operations under both metered and unmetered scenarios. Time<br/>series data of the merging process were collected with the Transportation<br/>Research Group instrumented vehicle and video cameras at a tapered<br/>motorway merge site. The data included accurate vehicle speed measured<br/>by laser speedometer, leading and following headway measured<br/>by radar, and driver’s eye movement derived from an in-car camera.<br/>Following a comprehensive analysis of the data, it was found that merging<br/>operations under ramp control could be significantly different from<br/>free merging. Merging maneuvers may become more difficult as a result<br/>of ramp control. The equity implications of such effects are discussed. It<br/>is believed that the understanding gained from this research will be<br/>useful for the design and operation of ramp metering

Topics: TE, TL
Year: 2007
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Provided by: e-Prints Soton
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