Using variable speed limits for motorway off-ramp queue protection

Lee, Jinwoo (Brian), Qian, Gongbin, & Chung, Edward (2013) Using variable speed limits for motorway off-ramp queue protection. In Transportation Research Board 92nd Annual Meeting Proceedings, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C.

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Motorway off-ramps are a significant source of traffic congestion and collisions. Heavy diverging traffic to off-ramps slows down the mainline traffic speed. When the off-ramp queue spillbacks onto the mainline, it leads to a major breakdown of the motorway capacity and a significant threat to the traffic safety. This paper proposes using Variable Speed Limits (VSL) for protection of the motorway off-ramp queue and thus to promote safety in congested diverging areas. To support timely activation of VSL in advance of queue spillover, a proactive control strategy is proposed based on a real-time off-ramp queue estimation and prediction. This process determines the estimated queue size in the near-term future, on which the decision to change speed limits is made. VSL can effectively slow down traffic as it is mandatory that drivers follow the changed speed limits. A collateral benefit of VSL is its potential effect on drivers making them more attentive to the surrounding traffic conditions, and prepared for a sudden braking of the leading car. This paper analyses and quantifies these impacts and potential benefits of VSL on traffic safety and efficiency using the microsimulation approach.

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ID Code: 59003
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional Information: Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting 2013 Paper #13-1165
Keywords: Motorway, Variable speed limit, Speed limit, Driver warning
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Transport Engineering (090507)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Current > Research Centres > Smart Transport Research Centre
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Deposited On: 09 Apr 2013 04:04
Last Modified: 15 May 2014 15:14

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