Lane closures due to highway work zones present many challenges to the goal of ensuring smooth traffic operations and a safe environment for both drivers and workers. Late merge behavior at a work zone closure is a dangerous behavior that impacts the traffic conflicts upstream of work zone closures. This paper analyzes the safety impacts of using a signalized lane control strategy at the work zone merge points. To achieve the objective of this research, a field study has been conducted at a highway work zone to collect traffic and driver behavior data, and a two-stage, simulation-based approach is used to analyze the safety impacts of implementing a signalized lane merge control strategy at the studied work zone. In the first stage, micro-simulation models are developed and calibrated based on field data to generate vehicle trajectories. In the second stage, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s Surrogate Safety Assessment Model is employed to identify potential conflicts under different traffic conditions. The paper concludes that a proposed signal control device could significantly reduce lane-change conflicts at work zone merge points. In addition, recommendations on the signal cycle length and timing splits are provided.
Publication Date: April 2017
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Driver Behavior; Impact Analysis; Lane Closure; Merging Control; Temporary Traffic Control; Traffic Signals; Traffic Simulation; Work Zone Safety