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Center for Transportation Studies

Field Implementation, Testing, and Refinement of Density Based Coordinated Ramp Control Strategy

John Hourdos, Nikolas Geroliminis, Stephen Zitzow, Ypatia Limniati
June 2015
Report no. MnDOT 2015-37

Abstract

In the Twin Cities metropolitan area, freeway ramp metering goes back as early as 1969, when the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) first tested ramp metering in an I-35E pilot project. To date, the Twin Cities ramp metering system has grown to include more than 433 ramp meters. Research on better, improved ramp control strategies has continued over the years and MnDOT has implemented minor and major changes in the control logic. Two independent studies both aimed at developing the next generation in ramp metering by focusing on density. Based on these efforts, two new algorithms were developed: the UMN Density and the UMD KAdaptive, named based on the campus at which they were developed. The goal of this project was to implement both algorithms and test them under real conditions. Priorities and technical problems prevented the evaluation of the UMN algorithms, so this report focuses on the evaluation of the UMD KAdaptive algorithm on two freeway corridors in the Twin Cities, MN. The first site, a section of TH-100 northbound between 50th Street and I-394, was selected to compare the then current logic, the Stratified Zone algorithm, with the new one. During the course of this project, the UMD algorithm eventually replaced the Stratified Zone algorithm and was implemented in the entire system. This full deployment also included corridors that were not controlled before. The second evaluation site on eastbound TH-212 was a site that allowed for a with/without control evaluation of the UMD algorithm. This report describes the experiments conducted at both sites and includes a comprehensive review of the state of ramp metering strategies around the world to date.

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Sponsored by: Minnesota Department of Transportation