Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/2048
Date of Award
MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Analysis of Effects of Adaptive Ramp Metering on Measures of Efficiency with a Proposed Framework for Safety Evaluation
Adaptive ramp metering (ARM) is a widely popular intelligent transportation system (ITS) tool that boasts the ability to reduce congestion and streamline traffic flow during peak hour periods while maintaining a lower implementation cost than traditional methods such as freeway widening. This thesis explores the effectiveness of ARM implementation on an 18 mile segment of the Interstate 80 (I-80) corridor in the Bay Area residing in northern California. Smaller segments of this particular segment were analyzed to determine the effective length of ARM on efficiency at various lengths originating from a known bottleneck location. Efficiency values were also compared against a control segment of the Interstate 280 (I-280) in San Jose to provide a test site experiencing similar traffic congestion but without any ARM implementation. An Empirical Bayes analysis was conducted to provide the foundation of a safety evaluation of the ramp metering implementation and determine a counterfactual estimate of expected collisions had ARM implementation not occurred.
It was found that the installation of the ramp meters did allow for some marginal increases in efficiency but may not be entirely associated with ARM implementation due to a variety of external factors as well as showing inconsistent behavior between analyzed segments. Regarding safety, the predictive model estimates 32.8 collisions to occur along a 0.5 mile segment within a three-year timeframe if ARM were not installed, which implies substantial improvements in safety conditions. However additional efficiency and safety data within the “after” period may be necessary to provide a more robust and conclusive evaluation as the ARM system is still relatively new.