Identifying Strategies to Improve Lane Use Management in Indiana

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ISSN: 2326-6325

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Paleti, Chaitanya; Peeta, Srinivas; Sinha, Kumares C
Purdue University Press; Joint Transportation Research Program
microsimulation; VISSIM; Indiana; subarea analysis; calibration; validation; demand estimation; dynamic; lane use management
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The limited funding available for roadway capacity expansion and the growing funding gap, in conjunction with the increasing congestion, creates a critical need for innovative lane use management options for Indiana. Various cost-effective lane use management strategies have been implemented in the US and worldwide to address these challenges. However, all the strategies have their own costs, operational characteristics, and additional requirements for field deployment. Hence there is a need for systematic simulation-based methodology to perform a comprehensive study to identify congested corridors and the specific set of lane use management strategies that are effective in Indiana.A systematic simulation-based methodology is proposed for evaluating lane use management strategies. A 10-mile stretch of the I-65 corridor south of downtown Indianapolis was selected as the study corridor using traffic analysis. The demand volumes for the study area were determined using subarea analysis. Its performance was evaluated using a microsimulation-based analysis in the context of alleviating congestion for three strategies: reversible lanes, high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes and ramp metering. Furthermore, an economic evaluation of these strategies was performed to determine the financial feasibility of their implementation.Results from this analysis indicated that reversible lanes and the ramp metering strategies improved traffic conditions on the freeway in the major flow direction. Implementation of the HOV lane strategy resulted in improved traffic flow conditions on the HOV lanes but aggravated congestion on the general purpose (GP) lanes. The HOV lane strategy was found to be economically infeasible due to low HOV volume on these lanes. The reversible lane and ramp metering strategies were found to be economically feasible with positive net present values (NPV), with the NPV for the reversible lane strategy being the highest.