Study Details

Study Title: Ramp Metering Influence on Freeway Operational Safety near On-ramp Exits

Authors: Liu and Wang

Publication Date: JUN, 2013

Abstract: Ramp metering has been widely installed in urban areas where congestion on a freeway or an expressway may occur recurrently during weekday peak periods to enhance mainline throughput and reduce system-wide delay. These operational benefits may also help reduce vehicular emissions and improve air quality in urban areas. However, the impact on traffic safety due to ramp metering hasn't been explored in details before. Supported by physical understanding and arguments, we characterize the ramp metering influence on freeway safety by examining vehicular collisions near on-ramp exits within the ramp meter operating hours before and after the activation of the ramp metering. Collisions for a sample of 19 operating ramp meters along several freeways in northern California were collected and organized to show that ramp metering can help reduce freeway collisions at the vicinity of on-ramp exits. It was found that the average reductions on freeway collisions in the vicinity of an on-ramp exit are around 36%. Although most of the reduced collisions belong to the property damage only category, a 36% reduction shows the significant safety benefit of ramp metering. The traffic congestion induced by each collision, especially during peak hours when ramp metering is in operation, could last for an hour or two. Consequently, ramp metering must be contributing to the reduction of non-recurrent congestion in addition to mitigating recurrent congestion, which is better documented. This study strongly supports the implementation of ramp metering in California.

Study Citation: Liu, C.and Wang, Z., "Ramp Metering Influence on Freeway Operational Safety near On-ramp Exits." International Journal of Transportation Science and Technology, Vol.2, No.2, Multi Science Publishing, (2013) pp.87-94.

Study Report: Download the Study Report Document


CMFs Associated With This Study

Category: Advanced technology and ITS

Countermeasure: Install ramp meter

CMF CRF(%) Quality Crash Type Crash Severity Roadway Type Area Type
0.64 36 3 Stars All All Principal Arterial Other Freeways and Expressways Urban