An Evaluation of the Safety and Operational Impacts of a Candidate Variable Speed Limit Control Strategy on an Urban Freeway
The objectives of this thesis are: 1) to validate a real-time crash prediction model for a candidate section of freeway; 2) to develop a candidate VSLS control algorithm with potential for practical applications; 3) to evaluate the performance of the VSLS control strategy for a range of traffic conditions in terms of safety and travel time; and 4) to test the sensitivity of the VSLS impact results to modifications of the control algorithm.
The analysis of the VSLS impacts under varying levels of traffic congestion indicated that the candidate control strategy was able to provide large safety benefits without a significant travel time penalty, but only for a limited range of traffic conditions. The tested algorithm was found to be insufficiently robust to operate effectively over a wide range of traffic conditions. However, by modifying parameters of the control algorithm, preliminary analysis identified potential improvements in the performance of the VSLS. The modified control strategy resulted in less overall travel time penalty without an adverse impact on the safety benefits. It is anticipated that further modifications to the VSLS control strategy could result in a VSLS that is able to operate over a wide range of traffic conditions and provide more consistent safety and travel time benefits, and it is recommended that the framework used in this study is an effective tool for optimizing the algorithm structure and parameter values.
School:University of Waterloo
School Location:Canada - Ontario
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:civil environmental engineering variable speed limits microsimulation freeway safety
Date of Publication:01/01/2006