U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

Overview

 

Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

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Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-13-0073
Project Name:   Traffic Bottleneck Identification and Diagnosis, Countermeasure Prioritization, and Innovative Solutions to Local/Systemic Problems
Project Status:   Active
Start Date:  May 23, 2013
End Date:  February 27, 2016
Contact Information
Last Name:  Bared
First Name:  Joe
Telephone:  202-493-3314
E-mail:  joe.bared@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Operations Research and Development
Team:   Trans Ops Concepts and Analysis Team [HRDO-20]
Laboratory:   Saxton Transportation Operations Laboratory
Project detail
Project Description:   In addition to Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) applications mostly with connected vehicle technologies (e.g., ramp metering, active travel demand management, improved signal coordination), it is our finding that short-term, relatively simple geometric and traffic control innovations continue to relieve bottlenecks significantly in cost-effective ways. However, there is little research that separates systemic causes from operational/localized ones, as they both fall under the umbrella of “recurring” congestion. The scope of proposed activities is to confirm and/or categorize the approximate percentages or all congestion sources (in rounded numbers). It also includes the development of a new pie chart that identifies proportionate congestion as either “freeway” or “surface streets.” Mostly, however, the scope is specifically defined to develop guidance solely for recurring congestion identification, vis-à-vis separating systemic and localized causes. The third step is to recommend how to focus on existing but cost-effective treatments to alleviate these two bottleneck categories and develop corresponding improvement recommendations based on land requirements and benefit/cost analysis. The fourth step is to develop or promote any innovative treatments, or conduct research using traffic simulation and driving simulator studies, and to evaluate performance improvements, feasibility, human factors adjustments, and benefit/cost analysis. Finally, the last step is to develop guidelines that provide design and operational recommendations for low-cost or cost-effective innovative treatments.
Goals:  
The objectives are to develop guidance solely for recurring congestion identification by separating systemic and localized causes; to recommend using existing but cost-effective treatments to alleviate these two bottleneck categories and develop corresponding improvement recommendations based on land requirements and benefit/cost analysis; to develop or promote more innovative treatments, and conduct research using traffic simulation and driving simulator studies; to evaluate performance improvements and develop guidelines that provide design and operational recommendations for low-cost or cost-effective innovative treatments.
Product Type:   Research report
Test Methodology:   Statistical approach to diagnosing traffic data.
Partners:   Federal Highway Administration: Office of Operations - Office of Transportation Management; Role(s): Advisory
Expected Benefits:   Guidance on bottleneck identification and diagnosis. Development of innovative and cost-effective near-term solutions.
FHWA Topics:   Research/Technologies--Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC)
TRT Terms:   Bottlenecks
Traffic Congestion
Traffic Simulation
Highway Operations
Research
Operations
FHWA Disciplines:   Operations
Subject Areas:   Operations and Traffic Management
Research
Transportation (General)

 

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101