skip to main content

Title: Coordinated Perimeter Flow and Variable Speed Limit Control for Mixed Freeway and Urban Networks
Recent studies have leveraged the existence of network macroscopic fundamental diagrams (MFD) to develop regional control strategies for urban traffic networks. Existing MFD-based control strategies focus on vehicle movement within and across regions of an urban network and do not consider how freeway traffic can be controlled to improve overall traffic operations in mixed freeway and urban networks. The purpose of this study is to develop a coordinated traffic management scheme that simultaneously implements perimeter flow control on an urban network and variable speed limits (VSL) on a freeway to reduce total travel time in such a mixed network. By slowing down vehicles traveling along the freeway, VSL can effectively meter traffic exiting the freeway into the urban network. This can be particularly useful since freeways often have large storage capacities and vehicles accumulating on freeways might be less disruptive to overall system operations than on urban streets. VSL can also be used to change where freeway vehicles enter the urban network to benefit the entire system. The combined control strategy is implemented in a model predictive control framework with several realistic constraints, such as gradual reductions in freeway speed limit. Numerical tests suggest that the combined implementation of VSL more » and perimeter metering control can improve traffic operations compared with perimeter metering alone. « less
Authors:
;
Award ID(s):
1749200
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10320857
Journal Name:
Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board
Volume:
2676
Issue:
1
ISSN:
0361-1981
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The development of traffic models based on macroscopic fundamental diagrams (MFD) enables many real-time control strategies for urban networks, including cordon-based pricing schemes. However, most existing MFD-based pricing strategies are designed only to optimize the traffic-related performance, without considering the revenue collected by operators. In this study, we investigate cordon-based pricing schemes for mixed networks with urban networks and freeways. In this system, heterogeneous commuters choose their routes based on the user equilibrium principle. There are two types of operational objective for operating urban networks: (1) to optimize the urban network’s performance, that is, to maximize the outflux; and (2) to maximize the revenue for operators. To compare those two objectives, we first apply feedback control to design pricing schemes to optimize the urban network’s performance. Then, we formulate an optimal control problem to obtain the revenue-maximization pricing scheme. With numerical examples, we illustrate the difference between those pricing schemes.
  2. Optimal cordon-metering rates are obtained using Macroscopic Fundamental Diagrams in combination with flow conservation laws. A model-predictive control algorithm is also used so that time-varying metering rates are generated based on their forecasted impacts. Our scalable algorithm can do this for an arbitrary number of cordoned neighborhoods within a city. Unlike its predecessors, the proposed model accounts for the time-varying constraining effects that cordon queues impose on a neighborhood’s circulating traffic, as those queues expand and recede over time. The model does so at every time step by approximating a neighborhood’s street space occupied by cordon queues, and re-scaling the MFD to describe the state of circulating traffic that results. The model also differentiates between saturated and under-saturated cordon-metering operations. Computer simulations of an idealized network show that these enhancements can substantially improve the predictions of both, the trip completion rates in a neighborhood and the rates that vehicles cross metered cordons. Optimal metering policies generated as a result are similarly shown to do a better job in reducing the Vehicle Hours Traveled on the network. The VHT reductions stemming from the proposed model and from its predecessors differed by as much as 14%.
  3. Network macroscopic fundamental diagrams (MFDs) have recently been shown to exist in real-world urban traffic networks. The existence of an MFD facilitates the modeling of urban traffic network dynamics at a regional level, which can be used to identify and refine large-scale network-wide control strategies. To be useful, MFD-based modeling frameworks require an estimate of the functional form of a network’s MFD. Analytical methods have been proposed to estimate a network’s MFD by abstracting the network as a single ring-road or corridor and modeling the flow–density relationship on that simplified element. However, these existing methods cannot account for the impact of turning traffic, as only a single corridor is considered. This paper proposes a method to estimate a network’s MFD when vehicles are allowed to turn into or out of a corridor. A two-ring abstraction is first used to analyze how turning will affect vehicle travel in a more general network, and then the model is further approximated using a single ring-road or corridor. This approximation is useful as it facilitates the application of existing variational theory-based methods (the stochastic method of cuts) to estimate the flow–density relationship on the corridor, while accounting for the stochastic nature of turning. Resultsmore »of the approximation compared with a more realistic simulation that includes features that cannot be captured using variational theory—such as internal origins and destinations—suggest that this approximation works to estimate a network’s MFD when turning traffic is present.« less
  4. Relationships between average network productivity and accumulation or density aggregated 2 across spatially compact regions of urban networks—so called network Macroscopic Fundamental 3 Diagrams (MFDs)—have recently been shown to exist. Various analytical methods have been put 4 forward to estimate a network’s MFD as a function of network properties, such as average block 5 lengths, signal timings, and traffic flow characteristics on links. However, real street networks are 6 not homogeneous—they generally have a hierarchical structure where some streets (e.g., arterials) 7 promote higher mobility than others (e.g., local roads). This paper provides an analytical method 8 to estimate the MFDs of hierarchical street networks by considering features that are specific to 9 hierarchical network structures. Since the performance of hierarchical networks is driven by how 10 vehicles are routed across the different street types, two routing conditions— user equilibrium and 11 system optimal routing—are considered in the analytical model. The proposed method is first 12 implemented to describe the MFD of a hierarchical one-way limited access linear corridor and 13 then extended to a more realistic hierarchical two-dimensional grid network. For both cases, it is 14 shown that the MFD of a hierarchical network may no longer be unimodalmore »or concave as 15 traditionally assumed in most MFD-based modeling frameworks. These findings are verified using 16 simulations of hierarchical corridors. Finally, the proposed methodology is applied to demonstrate 17 how it can be used to make decisions related to the design of hierarchical street network structures.« less
  5. Connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology is providing urban transportation managers tremendous opportunities for better operation of urban mobility systems. However, there are significant challenges in real-time implementation as the computational time of the corresponding operations optimization model increases exponentially with increasing vehicle numbers. Following the companion paper (Chen et al. 2021), which proposes a novel automated traffic control scheme for isolated intersections, this study proposes a network-level, real-time traffic control framework for CAVs on grid networks. The proposed framework integrates a rhythmic control method with an online routing algorithm to realize collision-free control of all CAVs on a network and achieve superior performance in average vehicle delay, network traffic throughput, and computational scalability. Specifically, we construct a preset network rhythm that all CAVs can follow to move on the network and avoid collisions at all intersections. Based on the network rhythm, we then formulate online routing for the CAVs as a mixed integer linear program, which optimizes the entry times of CAVs at all entrances of the network and their time–space routings in real time. We provide a sufficient condition that the linear programming relaxation of the online routing model yields an optimal integer solution. Extensive numerical tests aremore »conducted to show the performance of the proposed operations management framework under various scenarios. It is illustrated that the framework is capable of achieving negligible delays and increased network throughput. Furthermore, the computational time results are also promising. The CPU time for solving a collision-free control optimization problem with 2,000 vehicles is only 0.3 second on an ordinary personal computer.« less