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BFT 4053
ADVANCED TRAFFIC ENGINEERING
CHAPTER 1 : Traffic flow model
• Elements of traffic flow
• Flow, speed and density relationships
• Gaps and acceptable gaps
• Stochastic approach to gap acceptance
• Queuing theory
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Important term in traffic flow study
• Density the number of vehicles occupying a road lane per unit length at a given instant.
• Flow the number of vehicles passing a point per unit of time; often called volume when the time unit is one hour.
• Gap the time interval between the passage of consecutive vehicles moving in the same stream, measured between the rear of the lead vehicle and the front of the following vehicle.
• Headway the time interval between passage of consecutive vehicles moving in the same stream, measured between corresponding points (e.g. front bumper) on successive vehicles.
• Interrupted Flow occurs when flow is periodically interrupted by external fixtures,
primarily traffic control devices.
• Jam Density the density when speed and flow are zero.
• PHF (Peak Hour Factor) This describes the relationship between hourly volume and the maximum rate of flow within the hour: PHF = hourly volume/maximum rate of flow. For the 15 minute periods, PHF = volume/4 x (maximum 15 minute volume within the hour)
Important term in traffic flow study (cont.)
• Shockwaves Shockwaves occur as a result of differences in flow and density which occur when there are constrictions in traffic flow. These constrictions are called bottlenecks. The speed of growth of the ensuing queue is the shockwave, and is the difference in flow divided by the difference in density.
• Space Mean Speed the arithmetic mean of the speed of those vehicles occupying a given length of road at a given instant.
• Spacing the distance between vehicles moving in the same lane, measured between corresponding points (front to front) of consecutive vehicles.
• Speed the time rate of change of distance.
• Time Mean Speed the arithmetic mean of the speed of vehicles passing a point during a given time interval.
• Travel Time the total time required for a vehicle to travel from one point to another over a specified route under prevailing conditions.
• Uninterrupted Flow occurs when vehicles traversing a length of roadway are not required to stop by any cause external to the traffic stream, such as traffic control devices.
• Volume Traffic volume is the most basic and widely used parameter in traffic engineering, vehicles per mile, or vehicles per kilometer.
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Types of flow
• Uninterrupted flow  flow regulated by
vehiclevehicle interactions and interactions between vehicles and the roadway. (example,
vehicles traveling on an interstate highway)
• Interrupted flow  Flow regulated by an external means, such as a traffic signal. (Under interrupted flow conditions, vehiclevehicle interactions and vehicleroadway interactions play a secondary role in defining the traffic flow)
Traffic flow parameter
• Speed (v)  distance of vehicle travels per unit of time
• Volume  number of vehicles that pass a given point on the roadway in a specified period of time
• Flow (q)  the rate at which vehicles pass a given point on the roadway, and is normally given in terms of vehicles per hour.
• Peak Hour Factor (PHF)  The ratio of the hourly flow rate (
) divided by the peak 15 minute rate of flow expressed
q
as an hourly flow (q _{1}_{5} ). PHF= q _{6}_{0} / q _{1}_{5}
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• Density (k)  Density refers to the number of vehicles present on a given length of roadway.
• Headway (h)  measure of the temporal space between two vehicles. Specifically, the headway is the time that elapses between the arrival of the leading vehicle and the following vehicle at the designated test point. (reported in units of seconds)
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Traffic flow parameter
• Spacing (s)  physical distance, usually reported in feet or meters, between the front bumper of the leading vehicle and the front bumper of the following vehicle.
– product of speed and headway.
• Gap (g)  Gap is very similar to headway, except that it is a measure of the time that elapses between the departure of the first vehicle and the arrival of the second at the designated test point
– measure of the time between the rear bumper of the first vehicle and the front bumper of the second vehicle, where headway focuses on fronttofront times.
– Gap is usually reported in units of seconds.
• Clearance (c)  similar to spacing, except that the clearance is the
distance between the rear bumper of the leading vehicle and the
front bumper of the following vehicle.
– The clearance is equivalent to the spacing minus the length of the leading vehicle.
– Clearance, like spacing, is usually reported in units of feet or meters.
Elements of traffic flow
• Flow
• Density
• Speed
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Mathematical relationship describing traffic flow
• Macroscopic approach
– Greenshields models
• Satisfies the boundary conditions when the density, k is approaching zero and when the density is approaching jam density K _{j} (A/B)
• Can be used for light or dense traffic
– Greenberg model
• Satisfies the boundary condition when density is approaching the jam density but it does not satisfy the boundary condition when k is approaching zero
• Useful for dense traffic condition
• Microscopic approach
– Shock wave
– Queuing
SpeedFlowDensity Relationship
• Speed, flow, and density are all related to each other.
• Under uninterrupted flow conditions, speed,
density, and flow are all related by the following equation:
• Where:
q = kv
q = flow (vehicles/hour), k = Density (vehicles/mile, vehicles/kilometer), v = Speed (miles/hour, kilometers/hour)
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Special Speed & Density Conditions
• Free Flow Speed
– This is the mean speed that vehicles will travel on a roadway when the density of vehicles is low.
– Drivers have no worry about other vehicles.
– They subsequently proceed at speeds that are controlled by the performance of their vehicles, the conditions of the roadway, and the posted speed limit.
• Jam Density
– Extremely high densities can bring traffic on a roadway to a complete stop.
– The density at which traffic stops is called the jam density.
Greenshield’s Model
• Able to develop a model of uninterrupted traffic flow that predicts and explains the trends that are observed in real traffic flows.
• While Greenshield’s model is not perfect, it is fairly accurate and relatively simple.
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Greenshield assumption
•
•
•
Under uninterrupted flow conditions, speed and density are linearly related.
This relationship is expressed mathematically and graphically below. (See figure)
v=ABk
Where:
v = speed (miles/hour,
kilometers/hour) A,B = constants determined from field observations
k = density (vehicles/mile, vehicles/kilometer)
Density
Greenshield assumption
•
Inserting Greenshield’s speed density relationship into the general speedflowdensity relationship yields the following equations:
q 
= (ABk)k 
or 
q 
= Ak – Bk ^{2} 
Where:
q = flow (vehicles/hour)
A,B = constants
k = density (vehicles/mile, vehicles/kilometer)
Density = k
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• Therefore at speed at maximum flow:
v = A – Bk
= A – B(A/2B)
= A – (AB/2B)
= A – A/2
= A/2
• This indicates that the maximum flow occurs when traffic is flowing at half of freeflow speed (A).
• Substituting the optimum speed and density into the speed flowdensity relationship yields the maximum flow.
q 
= (A – Bk)k 
q 
Ak – Bk ^{2} = , k = A/2B 
= A (A/2B) – B(A/2B) ^{2}
= A ^{2} /2B – BA ^{2} /4B ^{2}
=
A ^{2} /4B
V = Speed
q = density
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The following can be derived from Greenshield’s model:
• When the density is zero, the flow is zero because there are no vehicles on the roadway.
• As the density increases, the flow also increases to some maximum flow conditions.
• When the density reaches a maximum, generally called jam density, the flow must be zero because the vehicles tend to line up end to end (parking lot conditions).
Time space diagram
• Commonly used to solve a number of transportation related problems.
• Describes the relationship between the location of vehicles in a traffic stream and the time as the vehicles progress along the highway.
• Useful for discussions of shock waves and wave propagation
Reductions in speed cause the slopes of the lines to flatten
The slope of the line represents the speed of the vehicle
Curved portions of the trajectories represent vehicles undergoing speed changes such as deceleration.
Acceleration causes the time space curve for the accelerating vehicle to bend until the new speed is attained.
Curves that cross indicate that the vehicles both shared the same position at the same time.
Unless passing is not permitted, crossed curves indicate collisions.
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EXAMPLE
LOOK AT PAGE 224 (EXAMPLE 6.2)
Use the regression analysis to fit these data to the
greeshields model
Speed, v (km/h), y _{i} 
Density, k 

(veh/km), 

x 
i 

53.2 
20 

48.1 
27 

44.8 
35 

40.1 
44 

37.3 
52 

35.2 
58 

34.1 
60 

27.2 
64 

20.4 
70 

17.5 
75 

14.6 
82 

13.1 
90 

11.2 
100 

8.0 
115 
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Greenberg model
Greenberg model
• Greenberg assumed a logarithmic relation between speed and density.
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Example 6.3
GREENBERG MODEL
Shock Waves
• A shock wave propagates along a line of
vehicles in response to changing conditions at
the front of the line.
• Shock waves can be generated by collisions, sudden increases in speed caused by entering free flow conditions, or by a number of other means.
• Basically, a shock wave exists whenever the traffic conditions change.
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Shock waves
• 
The equation that is used to estimate the propagation velocity of shock waves is given below. 
v _{s}_{w} = (q _{b} – q _{a} ) 

(k _{b} – k _{a} ) 

• 
Where 
v _{s}_{w} = propagation velocity of shock wave (miles/hour) q _{b} = flow prior to change in conditions (vehicles/hour) q _{a} = flow after change in conditions (vehicles/hour) k _{b} = traffic density prior to change in conditions (vehicles/mile) k _{a} = traffic density after change in conditions (vehicles/mile) 

• 
Note the magnitude and direction of the shock wave. 
• 
(+) Shock wave is travelling in same direction as traffic stream. () Shock wave is traveling upstream or against the traffic stream 
Shock wave example 

• 
Assume that an accident has occurred and that the flow after the accident is reduced to zero. 
• 
Initially, the flow was several vehicles per hour. Also, the density is much greater after the accident. 
• 
Substituting these values into the shock wave equation yields a negative () propagation velocity. This means that the shock wave is traveling against the traffic. 
• 
If you could look down on this accident, you would see 
a wave front, at which vehicles began to slow from 

their initial speed, passing from vehicle to vehicle back up the traffic stream. 

• 
The first car would notice the accident first, followed an instant later by the second car. Each vehicle begins slowing after its driver recognizes that the preceding 
vehicle is slowing
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• Wave velocity :
• If :
u _{w} = dq/dk
K, density
q _{B} = platoon flow (veh/hr) k _{B} = platoon density (veh/mi) q _{A} = free flow k _{A} = free density
• Then:
q _{B} /k _{B} = v _{B}
and
q _{A} /k _{A} = v _{A}
Shock
speed
• Therefore speed of shock waves, u _{w} = (q _{B} – q _{A} ) / (k _{B} – k _{A} )
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Types of shock wave
• Frontal stationary shock waves
– Formed when the capacity suddenly reduces to zero at an approach. (eg. At signalised intesection)
• Backward forming shock waves
– Formed when the capacity is reduced below the demand flow rate resulting the formation of a queue upstream of the bottleneck.
• Backward recovery shockwaves
– Formed when the demand flow rate becomes less than the capacity of the bottleneck or the restriction causing the capacity reduction at the bottleneck is removed
• Rear stationary and forward recovery shock waves
– Formed when demand flow rate upstream of a bottleneck is first higher than the capacity of the bottleneck and then the demand flow rate reduces to the capacity of the bottleneck
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Example
A school zone (20mph) of 1/4 –mile length is located on a 40 mph highway. Stream measurements at various section upstream, middle of the school zone, and just downstream of the school zone, respectively, are as follows:
Approaching zone Middle of zone
Downstream of zone : q _{C} = 1200 veh/hr, v _{C} = 30 mph
: q _{A} = 1000 veh/hr, v _{A} = 40mph : q _{B} = 1100 veh/hr, v _{B} = 20 mph
Sketch the qkv curves and indicate critical values. Calculate the intensity and direction of the shockwaves created by this speed zone. What is the length of the platoon created by the speed zone and the time required to disperse it? (Assume that the speedzone restriction operates for only 15 minutes during morning and evening
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Shockwave rear
of platoon
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Solution : Speed of shock wave at the rear of platoon
From equation:
u _{w} = (q _{B} – q _{A} ) / (k _{B} – k _{A} )
= (1100 – 1000) / (55 – 25)
= 3.33 mph
(moving downstream or in the direction of stream flow)
Solution : The intensity and direction of the shockwaves created by this speed zone
• Relative growth of the platoon is proportional to the relative speed between 20 – 3.33 =
16.67mph.
• (the platoon grows at the rate of 16.67 mp as it moves forward)
• School zone operates 15 minutes, therefore:
– Length of platoon = 16.67 x (15/60) = 4.17 miles
– Number of platoon = 4.17 x 55 = 230
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Solution : Shock wave at end school zone
u _{w} = (q _{B} – q _{A} ) / (k _{B} – k _{A} )
= (1200 – 1100) / (40 55) = 6.67 mph
Moving upstream or opposite to the direction of traffic flow.
Solution : Time to dissipate platoon
The relative speed of two shock wave 6.67 – (+3.33) = 10 mph From previous calculation, length of platoon = 4.17
Therefore time to dissipate platoon
= 4.17 / 10
= 0.417 hours
= 25 minutes
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Shockwave propagation
• Assume greenshield traffic flow model v _{f} represents the mean free speed and k _{j} the jam density.
V _{i} = v _{f} (1 – k _{i} /k _{j} )
If 
x = k _{i} /k _{j} 
Therefore, 
V _{i} = v _{f} (1 – x) 
• If there are two regions in a traffic stream flow having k _{i} /k _{j} values of x _{1} and x _{2} then
And
v _{1} = v _{f} (1x _{1} )
and v _{2} = v _{f} (1x _{2} )
u _{w} = v _{f} [1 – (x _{1} + x _{2} )]
,
Where u _{w} is velocity of shock wave in term of two densities in the corresponding two regions
Shock wave caused by nearly equal densities
• If x1 and x2 are nearly equal, then u _{w} = v _{f} (1 – 2x _{1} )
• This shock wave is referred as a wave of discontinuity
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Shock wave caused by stopping
• Density upstream x _{1} is brought to a jam density condition and x _{2} = 1.
u _{w} = v _{f} [1 – (x _{1} + 1)] =  (v _{f} ) (x _{1} )
Shock wave caused by starting
• Assume that at time t = 0, a platoon of vehicles has accumulated at the stop bar at intersection, and that the saturated (jam) density is such that x _{1} = 1. At t = 0, the signal turns green permitting vehicles to be released at velocity v _{2} .
Uw =  v _{f} (1v _{2} /v _{f} ) =  v _{f} + v _{2} =  (v _{f} – v _{2} )
• Assuming that vehicles depart at velocity v _{2} = v _{f} /2, the starting shockwave travels backward with a peed of v _{f} /2.
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EXAMPLE
a) A Twolane highway traffic stream following Greenshields model has the following characteristics:
mean free speed, vf = 50mph, kj = 220 veh/mile. What is the speed of the shock wave of discontinuity when k1 = 50, k2 = 160 and k3 = 110 veh/mi?
b) A traffic accident on this highway stops all traffic for 5 minutes, when the space mean speed is 45 mph and the density is 40 veh/mi. Calculate the shock wave speed and the length of the stopped lines on cars
c) Assuming the vehicles start moving at 25 mph after the incident is removed, calculate the speed of the starting wave?
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Solution (a)
• From equation u _{w} = v _{f} (1 – 2x _{1} ). Where x _{1} = k _{i} /k _{j}
k 
x 
u 
w 

K _{1} = 50 
50 / 220 = 0.227 
50 
(1 – 2(0.227)) = 27.27 

mph (downstream) 

K _{2} = 160 
160 
/ 220 = 0.727 
50 
(1 – 2(0.727) = 22.73 

mph 

K _{3} = 110 
110 
/ 220 = 0.5 
50 
(1 – 2(0.5)) = 0 
Solution (b)
• Shock wave cause by stopping u _{w} = v _{f} [1 – (x _{1} + 1)] =  (v _{f} ) (x _{1} )
x _{1} = 40/220 = 0.1818 Therefore u _{w} =  (45)(0.1818) = 8.18 (moving upstream) t = 5/60 = 1/12 hr
Therefore queue length = 1/12 (8.18)
= 0.68 mi
The number of vehicles in the line = (0.68)(220) = 150
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Solution (c)
• Shock wave causing by start
Uw =  v _{f} (1v _{2} /v _{f} ) =  v _{f} + v _{2} =  (v _{f} – v _{2} )
=  (50 – 25)
=  25 mph upstream
• The starting wave will overtake the stopping wave at relative speed of 25.0 – (8.18) = 16.82 mph
• Time to dissipate the line of 0.68 miles = 0.68/16.82 = 0.041 hr = 2.43 minutes
• Point on the roadway will be 0.68 x 0.041 = 1.01 miles upstream from the point of incidents
Try this
• Studies have shown that the traffic flow on a singlelane approach to a signalised intersection can be described by the Greenshiled model. If the jam density on the approach is 130 veh/mi, determine the velocity of the stopping wave when the approach signal changes to red if the density on the approach is 45 veh/mi and the space mean speed is 40 mi/h. at the end of the red interval, what length of the approach upstream from the stop line will vehicles be affected if the red interval is 35 sec
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References
• Traffic and Highway Engineering : Nicholas
Garber and Lester A. Hoel (2010)
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