Investigating the Feasibility of Coordinated Ramp Metering Along Freeway Corridors in Ohio

Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) currently has 23 ramp meters in operation along urban corridors of I-71 and SR-315 in Columbus and I- 74 in Cincinnati. A communications network is also in place that allows ODOT personnel to remotely control and monitor the meters. Performance of these meters in the field and their efficacy at managing congestion is currently unknown, in part because the quality of the data returned from these meters is questionable. Meanwhile, ODOT operates ramp meters in locally responsive mode but has a strong interest in exploring the possibility of coordinated ramp metering throughout corridors to improve efficiency beyond simply locally responsive metering. The goal of this student study is to collect traffic data from the existing ramp metering system and supplementary data about the traffic to assess the ramp metering system's performance. This analysis will first focus on determining if the meters are operating as programmed for the given traffic conditions. This study will then seek to assess the locally-responsive metering algorithm and suggest ways it may be improved. Finally, this study will use the data collected for the other tasks to help ODOT evaluate and develop a coordinated ramp metering scheme.