Capacity Estimation for On-Ramp Merging Section of Urban Expressway Based on Time Headway Loss

This paper proposes a model for estimating capacity of on-ramp merging section of urban expressway based on dynamics and gap acceptance theory, considering lane-changing processes and time headway loss. Survey data were collected from on-ramp merging sections of the Shanghai urban expressway system and showed that capacity drop of on-ramp merging section is caused by drivers’ lane-changing which may lead to unsteady speed of vehicles and so prolonged time headway compared to the minimum time headway corresponding to the maximum capacity. Three parameters (optimal time headway, time headway loss, and interference quantity of lane-changing) are given and a methodology by accumulating time headway loss due to lane-changing is developed to estimate the capacity drop. Results’ comparisons between real data and microsimulation of on-ramp merging sections and sensitivity analysis show that the proposed model can produce reliable and accurate results. This study also reveals that ramp flow and the difference between the optimal speed and the lane-changing speed of fleet have a great impact on capacity drop. This study is beneficial to evaluate congestion levels, to understand complex traffic phenomena, and so to find efficient solutions.


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  • Accession Number: 01525979
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 28 2014 3:22PM