A microsimulation analysis of the mobility impacts of intersection ramp metering
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Urban freeway demand that frequently exceeds capacity has caused many agencies to consider many options to reduce congestion. A series of solutions that falls under the Active Traffic Management (ATM) banner have shown promising potential. Perhaps the most popular ATM strategy is ramp metering. Ramp metering involves limiting the access of vehicles to freeways at an entrance ramp. By doing this, freeway throughput, speeds, and travel time reliability can be increased, while the number of traffic incidents can be decreased. This study examines the application of an innovative ramp metering strategy, Intersection Ramp Metering (IRM), at a section of Loop 1 in Austin, TX. IRM implements the ramp metering function at the intersection immediately upstream of the entrance ramp, rather than on the ramp itself. A microsimulation analysis of this application is performed in VISSIM, and the results confirm that freeway throughput (+10%), and system average travel time (-14%), can be improved, as well as several other performance measures.