Development of operational performance models for truck-lane restrictions on freeway corridors

Sijong Jo, Florida International University


Highways are generally designed to serve a mixed traffic flow that consists of passenger cars, trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, etc. The fact that the impacts of these different vehicle types are not uniform creates problems in highway operations and safety. A common approach to reducing the impacts of truck traffic on freeways has been to restrict trucks to certain lane(s) to minimize the interaction between trucks and other vehicles and to compensate for their differences in operational characteristics. The performance of different truck lane restriction alternatives differs under different traffic and geometric conditions. Thus, a good estimate of the operational performance of different truck lane restriction alternatives under prevailing conditions is needed to help make informed decisions on truck lane restriction alternatives. This study develops operational performance models that can be applied to help identify the most operationally efficient truck lane restriction alternative on a freeway under prevailing conditions. The operational performance measures examined in this study include average speed, throughput, speed difference, and lane changes. Prevailing conditions include number of lanes, interchange density, free-flow speeds, volumes, truck percentages, and ramp volumes. Recognizing the difficulty of collecting sufficient data for an empirical modeling procedure that involves a high number of variables, the simulation approach was used to estimate the performance values for various truck lane restriction alternatives under various scenarios. Both the CORSIM and VISSIM simulation models were examined for their ability to model truck lane restrictions. Due to a major problem found in the CORSIM model for truck lane modeling, the VISSIM model was adopted as the simulator for this study. The VISSIM model was calibrated mainly to replicate the capacity given in the 2000 Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) for various free-flow speeds under the ideal basic freeway section conditions. Non-linear regression models for average speed, throughput, average number of lane changes, and speed difference between the lane groups were developed. Based on the performance models developed, a simple decision procedure was recommended to select the desired truck lane restriction alternative for prevailing conditions.

Subject Area

Civil engineering

Recommended Citation

Jo, Sijong, "Development of operational performance models for truck-lane restrictions on freeway corridors" (2003). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3110368.