A dynamic modeling approach for applying managed lane strategies to freeway ramps

Jeffrey Shelton, University of Texas at El Paso


Over the past few decades, managed lane strategies have become more prevalent in addressing congestion issues. Most of the research focused on these managed lane strategies have been based on pricing, access ability, and user classifications. In addition, these strategies have all focused on freeways, expressways, and barrier separated toll lane traffic with great success. However, there has been little research on applying these strategies to ramps. ^ In general, the most well sought out approach to analyzing traffic patterns of managed lane facilities was to use state-of-the-art simulation models. The engineers today are more and more relying on these simulation models to forecast and predict travel patterns of the traveling public based on network configuration, peak congestion, and travel patterns. The dilemma facing engineers today is seeking out which modeling software to use for the various operational strategies. Several different types of traffic simulation software are being used to model managed lanes on freeways including microscopic, mesoscopic and macroscopic. All three types of models have advantages and limitations. The basis of this research is to use a mesoscopic simulation model and apply modeling capabilities to a case study using managed lanes on ramps in support of incident and congestion management. ^ To perform this study, a model of Interstate 35 in Fort Worth, Texas was used to validate traffic patterns, speed, volume, overall system performance and ultimately determine if the mesoscopic model would be able to analyze various manage lane strategies on the freeway ramps. These strategies included vehicle class restrictions, specific user class access, lane closure and variable pricing. The most advanced feature of the mesoscopic model was its time-dependent multi-mode choice assignment which allowed dynamic pricing and lane closure to multiple vehicle classes while simultaneously running dynamic traffic assignment. ^

Subject Area

Engineering, Civil

Recommended Citation

Shelton, Jeffrey, "A dynamic modeling approach for applying managed lane strategies to freeway ramps" (2007). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1444122.