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Old July 23rd, 2010, 10:29 AM   #1
diablo234
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Does your city have ramp meters?

Ramp meters are basically traffic lights that are placed on an on ramp to limit the amount of cars entering a freeway/motorway. They are relatively common in some U.S cities as they are am effective tool in managing traffic congestion.



A diagram of a typical setup of a Ramp Meter.


Example of a Ramp Meter on I-25 in Denver, CO.


Another example of a Ramp Meter in Portland, OR.

Know of any other cities that have them? And of course as always photos are appreciated.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 10:39 AM   #2
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Ramp meters are a widespread phenomenon in the Netherlands, especially in the West.

Not all are efficiently though, I have a friend who lives in Houten (not Houston ), and when the ramp meters are activated it can take 40 minutes to enter the A27 freeway.

image hosted on flickr
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 11:34 AM   #3
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Yes there are some on the Ring Motorway. Thay are called Tropfenzähler (drop counter):


http://www.tiefbauamt.zh.ch/internet...enzaehler.html

Quote:
Not all are efficiently though, I have a friend who lives in Houten (not Houston ), and when the ramp meters are activated it can take 40 minutes to enter the A27 freeway.
The thing is, such a system only improves the traffic on the motorway, the traffic onto the motorway is slowed down. A tippical "waterbed" situation.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 11:52 AM   #4
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I remember this ramp meters from my visit in Chicago. First time I saw them I asked a friend from that area why there are traffic lights on the motorway
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 03:21 PM   #5
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it seems to be not a good idea...

they want to keep the traffic of the freeway flowing, but what about the traffic of the ramps?

it has very limited puffer capacity so it will be backed up to the local roads and streets...

I think its better to let the traffic onto the freeway and let it back up there...

it has enormous puffer capacity...
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 05:00 PM   #6
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They are used in Israel on the Ayalon Highway, but the effect is often that traffic backs up far into the main streets and blocks traffic lanes there.





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Old July 23rd, 2010, 05:47 PM   #7
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frankly - i have never heard of those things! :shame:
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 06:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H123Laci View Post
it seems to be not a good idea...

they want to keep the traffic of the freeway flowing, but what about the traffic of the ramps?

it has very limited puffer capacity so it will be backed up to the local roads and streets...

I think its better to let the traffic onto the freeway and let it back up there...

it has enormous puffer capacity...
Alot of ramp meters actually have sensors at the entrance to the on ramp to detect traffic capacity, so when the traffic on the on ramp affects the intersecting road, the ramp meters automatically turn green to let cars enter the freeway/motorway until the on ramp is not as backed up.

Last edited by diablo234; July 23rd, 2010 at 06:51 PM.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 06:45 PM   #9
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Here's one from Stockholm. Ramp meters were installed on a few ramps when the congestion charge was implemented in Stockholm in 2004/2005. Because the E4 is excempt from the charge traffic on this road increased when the congestion charging begun.

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 07:13 PM   #10
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I am not sure if we have it in Poland. I presume, such a thing does not exist here. However, I know some places in Europe having that. For instance, A40 in Germany. There is plenty of them on almost every runway/slip road, in most congested and urbanized part of this autobahn
A picture from autobahn-bilder. Essen:
Quote:
Traffic lights can be found on Britsh motorways as well. I know several slip roads on M25 and M3 with them.
Quote:
Traffic lights could be put on M25 motorway...
full article back to 2008 to show the reason for that: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/...-motorway.html
...and they are in 2010:

The photo has been taken on M3, but those lights on M25 are very similar to these.

Last edited by piotr71; July 23rd, 2010 at 10:11 PM.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 08:35 PM   #11
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Nearly ALL onramps to the Amsterdam ringroad A10 have a TDI now.
(TDI=ToeritDoseerInstallatie = Onramp Dose Installation = Ramp meter)
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 09:18 PM   #12
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i think i saw similar thing in Switzerland (or it was Germany?), but on the mainstream motorway, it was very congested and traffic lights have been turning on the red each minute or something like that to break the row
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 09:41 PM   #13
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Most Alpine tunnels also have ramp meters on the mainline lanes. They call it "blockabfertigung", but the idea is the same.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 11:03 PM   #14
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Wouldn't it be easier if they would built longer merging lanes instead of ramp meters?
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 11:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogdymol View Post
Wouldn't it be easier if they would built longer merging lanes instead of ramp meters?
Probably not cheaper, and not always feasible. At least that's what I assume. (They mostly show up on urban-area expressways that may be decades old when the meters are added.)
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 11:37 PM   #16
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It has nothing to do with the length of the merging lanes.

A motorway has a certain capacity, for example 2,200 vehicles per lane per hour. If this capacity is approached, this is called saturation. A traffic jam will begin to appear if this capacity is exceeded, for example when there is additional traffic entering the road.

To lower the influx of vehicles onto the motorway, ramp meters are installed. They can program these to a certain value of vehicles per hour that can enter the motorway. The idea is to ease or avoid congestion on the mainline lanes by limiting the flow entering the motorway.

So it has to do with the amount of traffic, not the length of the merging lanes or on-ramp.

A traffic engineer has to find a compromise between the number of vehicles entering the motorway from the on-ramp, and the queue length on the on-ramp or adjacent streets. If the vehicle flow is too limited, a gridlock will quickly appear.

Ramp meters are often out of service outside peak hours, to avoid unnecessary stops and acceleration (thus emissions).
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Old July 24th, 2010, 01:55 PM   #17
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Thank you for the answer.

Offtopic: what kind of courses have you followed to be a traffic engineer?
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Old July 24th, 2010, 06:27 PM   #18
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You can study traffic engineering at a University of applied sciences, as they are called these days. They call it a Fachhochschule in German. It's not an actual university course in the Netherlands, but comparable to a college education, which you follow after you've graduated high school.

However, although people get in touch with traffic engineering every day you get outside your house, the profession is rather unknown. For example, there are only three colleges in the Netherlands where you can study traffic engineering. (one is in Zwolle )
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Old July 24th, 2010, 06:28 PM   #19
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Are you a teacher there?
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Old July 24th, 2010, 07:44 PM   #20
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I've only seen them in the Ruhr area of Germany, although permanently off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthJoker View Post


Are there any laws supporting the "1 auto" sign, or are those to be freely ignored?
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