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Technical Papers
May 29, 2020

Optimal Variable, Lane Group–Based Speed Limits at Freeway Lane Drops: A Multiobjective Approach

Publication: Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part A: Systems
Volume 146, Issue 8

Abstract

This study develops optimal variable, lane group–based, speed limits for traffic control at freeway lane drop areas (e.g., work zones). The proposed approach adopts a simulation-optimization framework that utilizes a calibrated and validated macroscopic traffic flow model METANET, along with the microscopic traffic simulation model VISSIM, to develop the optimal speed limits. A multiobjective optimization framework is implemented whereby the model primarily seeks to improve traffic safety by reducing the average number of stops, while taking other objectives, such as the average travel time and throughput, into consideration. For optimization, the heuristic, biologically-inspired optimization technique known as particle swarm optimization (PSO), is utilized, and the ε-constraint method is adopted to allow for considering multiple objectives in the optimization process. The proposed traffic control strategy is then evaluated for a hypothetical freeway lane drop area under a real-world congested traffic scenario. The research findings show that the proposed lane group–based control strategy outperforms other link-based, variable speed limits reported in the literature.

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Data Availability Statement

Some or all data, models, or code generated or used during the study are available from the corresponding author by request.
Traffic input data
VISSIM simulation model

Acknowledgments

The first author would like to express his deep thanks and appreciation to the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for the scholarship awarded to him. It is worth stating that the contents of the current article reflect the authors’ vision and do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. In addition, the authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their efforts and helpful comments.

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Go to Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part A: Systems
Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part A: Systems
Volume 146Issue 8August 2020

History

Received: Sep 25, 2019
Accepted: Mar 2, 2020
Published online: May 29, 2020
Published in print: Aug 1, 2020
Discussion open until: Oct 29, 2020

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Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering, Univ. at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1650-1040. Email: [email protected]
Adel W. Sadek [email protected]
Professor, Dept. of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering, Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260. Email: [email protected]
Morton C. Frank Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering and Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260 (corresponding author). ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2596-4984. Email: [email protected]

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