Applying New Methods for Assessing the Impact of Weaving and Lane Changing Intensity on Motorway Capacity

Weaving sections along motorway corridors due to intensive and (longitudinally) concentrated lane changing are known to cause turbulent traffic flow conditions and create bottlenecks with reduced operational capacity. Establishing a causal relationship between weaving/lane changing intensity and capacity loss is important for planning, design and operation of motorways. Due to practical and financial constraints (e.g. post-processing of time-limited video footage from drones or fixed cameras), to date only very limited measurement of lane changing was undertaken. Hence for the planning of mainline and entry/exit ramp lane configurations etc., some assumptions, simplifications and generalisations were needed. Next generation vehicle detection technology built into many kilometres of metropolitan Melbourne motorways enabling high-quality speed-volume and occupancy measurement allows for the ongoing low-cost quantification of lane changing in fine resolution. Combined with a recently adopted contemporary methodology for the determination of motorway capacity based on probabilistic understanding of traffic flow, this allows for the precise quantification and novel utilisation of both components. Based on data from seven weaving sections located on two 3- to 5-lane carriageway motorways, it was found that for a weaving section length between 500 metres and 1.75 kilometres the relation between capacity loss in per cent and the (mandatory) lane changing concentration in lane changes per vehicle, hour and kilometer is linear (subject to further validation with future trials with more sites). This article presents the need for a refined approach compared to current methodologies, the steps that led to the methodology developed and the results of their initial application.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Maps; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 20p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01763924
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-01156
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:14AM