Developing control strategies for freeway merging points under congested traffic situations using modeling and a simulation approach

Majid Sarvi, Masao Kuwahara, Avishai Ceder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This work focuses on developing a variety of strategies for alleviating congestion at freeway merging points as well as improving the safety of these points. On the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway, traffic congestion frequently occurs at merging bottleneck sections, especially during heavy traffic demand. The Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway public corporation, generally applies different empirical strategies to increase the flow rate and decrease the accident rate at the merging sections. However, these strategies do not rely either on any behavioral characteristic of the merging traffic or on the geometric design of the merging segments. There have been only a few research publications concerned with traffic behavior and characteristics in these situations. Therefore, a three-year extensive study has been undertaken to investigate traffic behavior and characteristics during the merging process under congested situations in order to design safer and less congested merging points as well as to apply more efficient control at these bottleneck sections. Two groups of strategies were investigated in this study. The First group was related to the traffic characteristics, and the second group to the geometric characteristics. In the first group, the control strategies related to closure of freeway and ramp lanes as well as lane-changing maneuver restriction were investigated through a simulation program, detector data, and field experiment. In the second group, the angle of convergence of the ramp with the freeway in relation to merging capacity was analyzed using a simulation program. Results suggested the potential benefits of using proposed strategies developed in this work and can serve as initial guidance for the reduction of delay and improvement of safety under congested traffic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-194
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Advanced Transportation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management


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