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Microsimulation analysis of practical aspects of traffic control with variable speed limits

Papageorgiou Markos, Muller Eduardo Rauh, Carlson Rodrigo Castelan, Kraus Werner

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Year 2015
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
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Mainstream traffic flow control (MTFC) with variable speed limits (VSLs) is a freeway traffic control method that aims to maximize throughput by regulating the mainstream flow upstream from a bottleneck. Previous studies in a macroscopic simulator have shown optimal and feedback MTFC potential to improve traffic conditions. In this paper, local feedback MTFC is applied in microscopic simulation for an on-ramp merge bottleneck. Traffic behavior reveals important aspects that had not been previously captured in macroscopic simulation. Mainly, the more realistic VSL application at specific points instead of along an entire freeway section produces a slower traffic response to speed limit changes. In addition, the nonlinear capacity flow/speed limit relation observed in the microscopic model is more pronounced than what was observed at the macroscopic level. After appropriate modifications in the control law, significant improvements in traffic conditions are obtained.

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