AbstractContending with various recurrent congestion patterns on major freeway corridors has long been a prioritized task of the transportation community. Most of these patterns take place on a freeway interchange’s on-ramp and off-ramp segments where both exiting and merging flows often trigger a series of lane changes, resulting in significant freeway speed reduction and propagation of traffic queues to neighboring surface streets. To concurrently mitigate freeway traffic congestion and minimize any negative impacts on the nearby local arterials, this study has developed an Integrated Real-time Interchange Control (IRIC) system, which maximizes the benefits of both freeway and arterial users by fusing an integrated off-ramp signal control (IOSC) module, an off-ramp queue impact (OQI) model, a lane group-based (LGB) traffic model, and a ramp metering control strategy as well as arterial signal optimization modules. The proposed system with both ramp metering functions and local arterial signal design capabilities can determine whether to implement system-wide optimization or merely the ramp metering based on real-time detected traffic conditions. The evaluation results from experiments have confirmed the effectiveness of the developed real-time interchange control system, especially with respect to its ability of preventing ramp queue overflows to the neighboring arterials and minimizing the off-ramp spillback onto the freeway mainline.

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