Developing freeway merging calibration techniques for analysis of ramp metering In Georgia through VISSIM simulation

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Whaley, Michael T.
Hunter, Michael P.
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Freeway merging VISSIM calibration techniques were developed for the analysis of ramp metering in Georgia. An analysis of VISSIM’s advanced merging and cooperative lane change settings was undertaken to determine their effects on merging behavior. Another analysis was performed to determine the effects of the safety reduction factor and the maximum deceleration for cooperative braking parameter on the simulated merging behavior. Results indicated that having both the advanced merging and cooperative lane change setting active produced the best results and that the safety reduction factor had more influence on the merging behavior than the maximum deceleration for cooperative braking parameter. Results also indicated that the on-ramp experienced unrealistic congestion when on-ramp traffic was unable to immediately find an acceptable gap when entering the acceleration lane. These vehicles would form a queue at the end of the acceleration lane and then be unable to merge into the freeway lane due to the speed differential between the freeway and the queued ramp traffic. An Incremental Desired Speed algorithm was developed to maintain an acceptable speed differential between the merging traffic and the freeway traffic. The Incremental Desired Speed algorithm resulted in a smoother merging behavior. Lastly, a ramp meter was introduced and an increase in both the freeway throughput and overall speeds was found. Implications of these findings on the future research is discussed.
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