Short-Term Traffic Flow Forecasting for Freeway Incident-Induced Delay Estimation

Freeway incidents not only threaten travelers’ safety but also cause severe congestion. Incident-induced delay (IID) refers to the extra travel delay resulting from incidents on top of the recurrent congestion. Quantifying IID would help people better understand the real cost of incidents, maximize the benefit-cost ratio of investment on incident remedy actions, and develop active traffic management and integrated corridor management strategies. By combining a modified queuing diagram and short-term traffic flow forecasting techniques, this study proposes an approach to estimate the temporal IID for a roadway section, given that the incidents occurs between two traffic flow detectors. The approach separates IID from the total travel delay, estimates IID for each individual incident, and only takes volume as input for IID quantification, avoiding using speed data that are widely involved in previous algorithms yet are less available or prone to poor data quality. Therefore, this approach can be easily deployed to broader ranges where only volume data are available. To verify its estimation accuracy, this study captures two incident videos and extracts ground-truth IID data, which is rarely done by previous studies. The verification shows that the IID estimation errors of the proposed approach are within 6% for both cases. The approach has been implemented in a Web-based system, which enables quick, convenient, and reliable freeway IID estimation in the Puget Sound region in the state of Washington.


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  • Accession Number: 01532519
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 24 2014 3:00PM