Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Jian John Lu, Ph.D.

Keywords

Speed, Lane change, Corsim, ANOVA, Tukey

Abstract

Interstate highways are one of the most important components of the transportation infrastructure in America. Freeway ramps play an important role in the whole interstate transportation system. This paper researches the traffic flow characteristics of four typical exit ramps in USA, which are tapered one-lane exit, tapered two-lane exit, parallel one-lane exit and parallel two-lane exit. Computer simulation software, such as CORSIM and HCS are applied as the main tools in this research. ANOVA and Tukey are used for statistical purpose. It compares the maximum capacity, average running speed and the total lane change number of those four exit ramps. It is found that no matter in terms of traffic discharging rate or total lane charging number; the tapered two-lane exit has the best operational performance. Tapered one-lane exit ramp has the least capacity. Parallel one-lane exit and parallel two-lane exit have very limited traffic operational difference in terms of capacity and running speed. It is recommended that parallel two-lane exit ramp should not be designed along the freeway if the right of way along arterial road is enough. It is observed from the simulation data that the grade of freeway, truck percentage, restricted to the truck use of certain lane(s) and the location of exit sign have significant impact on the running speed and total lane change number. An uphill can decrease the running speed dramatically while more truck brings more lane change, causing safety concerns. It is found that when trucks are restricted to the right two most lane, there will be less lane change number comparing with trucks are not restricted. Location of exit sign operates well at the distance between 4000 ft to 5000 ft. does have a significant impact on the operational speed and total lane change number before, within or after functional area of an exit, based on the data analysis of simulation runs.

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