Modelling of Traffic Performance for Swedish Roads and Motorways

University dissertation from Stockholm, Sweden : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: This thesis consists of five scientific articles oriented towards capacity. Managing capacity constraints with associated delays is a big issue at new design as well as at trimming existing traffic facilities. In larger Swedish cities these challenges have become more and more important as a result of growing traffic demand due to rapid population increase.Models for estimating capacity and delay are available, but not many are calibrated for Swedish conditions due to the high effort required. This thesis documents development and calibration of new models for motorway links, entry and exit lanes and weaving areas and an developed space-time model with the ability to calculate queue length, delay, etc.The first article is focused on identifying weaknesses in the former Swedish capacity method for motorways, and development of new models overcoming these shortcomings. The development includes new models for jam density at queue, capacity in weaving areas and fundamental flow-density relationships for 15 different highway types for inclusion in the new Swedish capacity manual.The second article describes the development of a Swedish motorway space-time model to estimate travel times and queues in oversaturated conditions based on the American FREEVAL model in Highway Capacity Manual 2010 (HCM 2010). Calibration and validation of the model has been performed with data from the Motorway Control System (MCS) in Stockholm. A good correspondence was obtained for most cases, but further calibration and validation efforts are required for entry and exit lanes.The third article describes further development of the intersection model in the Swedish microscopic model “Rural Traffic Simulator (RuTSim). This is a continuation of the work documented in the author’s licentiate thesis published in 2002. The development focused on simulation of intersections using a new concept on lane use not included in the old RuTSim model. The model describes Swedish rural intersections with flared approaches providing a non-discreet lane use due to vehicle types in queue. New data for calibration and validation data was also generated. The validation results showed good correspondence between simulated and empirical delay results. The new intersection model is now implemented in RuTSim, providing new tools for estimation of capacity, delay and queue length already included in Swedish guidelines and capacity manuals/software (Capcal).The fourth article describes the development of a new capacity model for roadwork zones. Focus is on the resulting capacity of one lane due to several reduction factors. These factors include impacts of closed road shoulders, reduction of number of lanes, diversion of traffic to the opposite carriageway, commuting traffic, length of work zone, lane width and type of road work. The first two correction factors were successfully validated in a full-scale test on the E6 motorway in Gothenburg.The fifth article describes development and implementation of a new harmonization algorithm for MCS systems on motorways designed to increase bottleneck capacity and throughput. Two different models were developed, one of which was implemented in the existing MCS system on E4 Södertäljevägen south of Stockholm. Full-scale trials were carried out with a model based on trigger levels in terms of flow. The second model based on the difference in the variance of speed during two following time periods was tested offline also with very good results.