Authors: Sung Yoon Park and Gang-Len Chang
Conference: 90th TRB Annual Meeting in 2011
Contending with recurrent congestion on commuting corridors has long been a challenging and pressing issue for responsible highway agencies. However, effective strategies to mitigate the congestion level and the accompanied safety issues on those highway segments remain to be developed. In response to such needs, this study presents an innovative system that integrates variable speed control and travel time information for alleviating the day-to-day congestion at a highway corridor.The entire system presented in this study includes a set of algorithms for setting variable speeds for different highway segments based on traffic conditions detected from roadway sensors, and a well-calibrated licensed-plate-recognition system for displaying the estimated travel time. Our field experiments of the proposed system on MD100 over eight weeks have revealed that with a proper speed control in real time the congested highway segment indeed can achieve a higher throughput, stable traffic condition, and shorter travel time. The display of estimated travel times seem to ease the stress of drivers and to increase their compliance to the suggested speed limits.