The project focuses on two major issues – the improvement of current work zone design practices and an analysis of vehicle interarrival time (IAT) and speed distributions for the development of a digital computer simulation model for queues and travel delays in work zones. Important considerations in the development of work zone design guidelines include guidance, delineation, and the safety of workers and drivers. A nationwide survey of current work zone best practices was conducted. Based on the review of the existing ODOT guidelines, superior practices available in other states, relevant research, and professional judgment of personnel involved in work zone activities, a set of guidelines for work zone design are proposed. It is anticipated that these research findings will result in the better design of work zones which will minimize traffic delays and improve safety. In the second part of the project trailers, each using two Wavetronix microwave radar units in side-fire mode, were developed to nonintrusively measure traffic. The traffic was measured at six work zones sites with different types of lane configurations at different freeways in Ohio. Traffic on the road was also independently measured using video and radar, and the results compared to records from the trailers to verify that the trailers were measuring the traffic with reasonable accuracy. IAT data of successive vehicles in freeflowing traffic ahead of work zones were analyzed and IAT distributions were generated as a function of the traffic volume for each lane and relationships between traffic volumes and cumulative IAT distributions were established allowing a direct conversion from hourly traffic counts to corresponding cumulative IAT distributions. This conversion method produces fairly accurate cumulative IAT distributions for selected hourly traffic volumes. It was also found that the same cumulative IAT distribution can be used to model the free-flowing traffic at other freeway locations in Ohio, which means that the IAT distributions are portable and scalable and a microscopic digital computer simulation model based on queueing theory may be developed to investigate traffic delays in work zones.
Publication Date: January 2006
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Best Practices; Changeable Message Signs; Intelligent Transportation Systems; Traffic Delay; Traffic Queuing; Work Zone Safety; Work Zones; Worker Safety