Extensive literature exists regarding recommendations for lane widths, merging tapers, and work zone geometry to provide safe and efficient traffic operations. However, it is often infeasible or unsafe for inspectors to check these geometric features in a freeway work zone. This paper discusses the integration of LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging)-generated geometric data with connected vehicle speed data to evaluate the impact of work zone geometry on traffic operations. Connected vehicle speed data can be used at both a system-wide (statewide) or segment-level view to identify periods of congestion and queueing. Examples of regional trends, localized incidents, and recurring bottlenecks are shown in the data in this paper. A LiDAR-mounted vehicle was deployed to a variety of work zones where recurring bottlenecks were identified to collect geometric data. In total, 350 directional miles were covered, resulting in approximately 360 GB of data. Two case studies, where geometric anomalies were identified, are discussed in this paper: a short segment with a narrow lane width of 10–10.5 feet and a merging taper that was about 200 feet shorter than recommended by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. In both case studies, these work zone features did not conform to project specifications but were difficult to assess safely by an inspector in the field because of the high volume of traffic. The paper concludes by recommending the use of connected vehicle data to systematically identify work zones with recurring congestion and the use of LiDAR to assess work zone geometrics.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: May 4, 2018
Source URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Connected Vehicles; Data Collection; Geometric Design; Impact Analysis; Radar; Traffic Congestion; Work Zone Design; Work Zones