Simulation-Based Investigation on High-Occupancy Toll Lane Operations for Washington State Route 167

High-occupancy toll (HOT) lane operation has been implemented in several urban areas in the United States and is regarded as one of the most effective management strategies against freeway congestion. By allowing single occupancy vehicles (SOVs) to pay a toll for using high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, the excess capacities of HOV lanes can be used and the overall traffic mobility of the roadway section can be improved. However, research on HOT lane operations is still in its early stage. A series of theoretical and practical issues on optimizing HOT lane system performance particularly require immediate attention for better practice. Simulation-based investigation on HOT lane operations provides a cost-effective, risk-free, and prospective means of exploring and addressing these issues. A microscopic traffic simulation tool, VISSIM, is exploited in this study. By overcoming functional constraints with the VISSIM built-in modules and taking advantage of its component object model interface, we develop a new external module to enable HOT lane simulation. This HOT lane module provides additional flexibility to satisfy any specific demands from particular researchers and practitioners. Based on this external module, HOT lane operations can be simulated and evaluated as demonstrated using the Washington State Route (SR) 167 HOT Lane Pilot Project. The SR-167 simulation results not only quantitatively evaluate the overall system performance but also identify potential problems. Significantly different operational performance was illustrated between HOV lane and HOT lane systems using the developed simulation models. The simulation platform used in this study has the potential to be a cost-effective evaluation tool for HOT lane operations.


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  • Accession Number: 01141742
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 11 2009 10:58PM