Date of Award

12-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor

Chowdhury, Mashrur

Committee Member

Huang, Yongxi (Eric)

Committee Member

Sarasua, Wayne

Abstract

Arterials are typically characterized by closely-spaced signalized intersections, high driveway density, and high traffic volumes. These characteristics contribute to congestion, as well as crashes. Access management strategies can address both operational and safety issues on urban arterials. This research focuses on the operational impacts of access management with two objectives: (1) quantify the impacts of ‘traditional’ access management strategies and (2) quantify the impacts of demand-responsive access control. To satisfy Objective 1, four traditional access management strategies were tested – (i) access spacing, (ii) corner clearance, (iii) access restriction, and (iv) raised median implementation. These were analyzed in four respective alternative scenarios using microscopic simulation (VISSIM) of two existing corridors; one 5-lane and one 7-lane and measures of effectiveness (MOEs) of mainline travel times and driveway ingress and egress traffic total and stopped delay were compared. The analysis revealed that operational impacts of traditional access management techniques are site-specific. However, considering both sites, the access spacing strategy, which consolidates driveways such that they achieve the SCDOT ARMS Manual spacing requirements, performed best from the standpoint of the MOE’s observed and is most recommended for implementation. In order to test demand-responsive access control for Objective 2, simulation of the same two existing corridors used for traditional access management tests was conducted for a period including both peak and off-peak traffic conditions for three scenarios (i) existing conditions, (ii) a raised median (permanent access control), and (iii) dynamic access control, which includes restriction of driveways to right-in, right-out enforced during intervals in which traffic volumes exceed given thresholds. Simulation analysis indicated that while the raised median performed differently on each corridor, the demand-responsive strategy lowered travel times and delays. Therefore, it is the conclusion of this research that alternating access between fully-open to right-in/right-out based on prevailing traffic conditions, has the potential to improve traffic operations on a corridor, by producing lower travel times and delays during both peak and off-peak traffic conditions.

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