Modeling Traffic Flow at Merge Bottlenecks Considering Merging Location Choice

Merge bottlenecks, such as lane drops, junctions with entry ramps, and freeway-to-freeway merges, are the most common places where traffic congestion initiates. These are the places where drivers compete for reduced road space and are forced to interact. Furthermore, merge junctions are also fundamental building blocks of networks, hence their models are essential components of network traffic models widely used in dynamic traffic assignment and other network applications. Despite recent renewed interest and progress made in modeling merge bottlenecks, the understanding of and ability to model them is far less mature than those related to traffic on homogeneous road sections, partly due to the complexity of merge dynamics and partly insufficient observations. In this research, the project will attempt to gain a better understanding of traffic system behavior at merge bottlenecks through careful studies of vehicle trajectories from on-ramp junctions, and use this understanding to develop more realistic merging traffic flow models that takes into account the choice of merging locations. It is expected that this research can help build a solid foundation of network traffic flow theory by addressing an essential component of this theory, namely merging traffic dynamics, which in turn can help the design of more effective traffic control strategies to reduce traffic congestion caused by merge bottlenecks.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Research and Innovative Technology Administration

      Department of Transportation
      1200 New Jersey Avneue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Performing Organizations:

      University of California, Davis

      Institute of Transportation Studies
      Davis, CA  United States  95616
    • Principal Investigators:

      Zhang, Michael

    • Start Date: 20120101
    • Expected Completion Date: 20130101
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • Source Data: RiP Project 33498

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01471035
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: University of California Transportation Center
    • Contract Numbers: 7868
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: Jan 31 2013 1:01AM