Operational and Safety-Based Analyses of Varied Toll Lanes

Recent toll plaza designs have changed drastically due to the implementation of new technologies such as Electronic Toll Collection (ETC). Although these emerging features are developed to improve toll plaza operations, it has altered driver behavior and increased crash frequency as a result of driver confusion and difficult merging scenarios that occur when approaching toll plazas with alternative payment methods. This research presents the first mobile driving simulator in Puerto Rico used to address safety issues related to driver behavior and toll plaza design, which is located in the Transportation Laboratory of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM). The purpose of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of two different signage configurations of Caguas Sur Toll Plaza using a virtual simulation environment. The first configuration contained roadside signage that corresponded to the existing sign conditions, while the second configuration consisted of the proposed overhead signage. Both signage configurations provided information regarding the speed limits and lane purpose before approaching the toll plaza. A sample of subject drivers was selected to drive through different scenarios to evaluate the effectiveness of both signage configurations. The variables used for analysis were standard deviation of roadway position (SDRP), average speed and acceleration noise, which were calculated in different locator references prior to the toll plaza. The outcome of the research indicated that the configuration with the proposed conditions had a statistically significant reduction of acceleration noise, which was used as a surrogate measure of safety. This was a result of the reduction in lane-changing patterns. It was found that subject drivers of scenarios containing overhead signage changed lanes smoothly and reduced vehicle velocity with anticipation when approaching the toll plaza. Significant difference was found between the signage configurations when analyzing acceleration noise in the Toll Plaza Locator Reference. In conclusion, this study provides strong evidence that driving simulators can be used as an effective and low-cost technology to identify alternative signage configurations at toll plazas without exposing drivers to dangerous situations. These results are expected to contribute both to the understanding of driving behavior and the safety of new features used in the operation of toll facilities around the world.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

    Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying
    Mayaguez, Puerto Rico  United States 

    Safety Research Using Simulation University Transportation Center (SaferSim)

    University of Iowa
    Iowa City, IA  United States  52242

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Díaz, Didier M Valdés
    • Ríos, Benjamín Colucci
    • González, Johnathan Ruiz
    • Cruz, Bryan Ruiz
    • Rosario, Ricardo García
    • Torres, Enid Colón
  • Publication Date: 2016-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 100p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01619068
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Created Date: Dec 14 2016 2:31PM