Dual influences on vehicle speed in special-use lanes and critique of US regulation

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We verify that slow speeds in a special-use lane, such as a carpool or bus lane, can be due to both, high demand for that lane and slow speeds in the adjacent regular-use lane. These dual influences are confirmed from months of data collected from all freeway carpool facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Additional data indicate that both influences hold: for other types of special-use lanes, including bus lanes; and for other parts of the world. The findings do not bode well for a new US regulation stipulating that most classes of Low-Emitting Vehicles, or LEVs, are to vacate slow-moving carpool lanes. These LEVs invariably constitute small percentages of traffic; e.g. they are only about 1% of the freeway traffic demand in the San Francisco Bay Area. Yet, we show: that relegating some or all of these vehicles to regular-use lanes can significantly add to regular-lane congestion; and that this, in turn, can also be damaging to vehicles that continue to use the carpool lanes. Counterproductive outcomes of this kind are predicted first by applying kinematic wave analysis to a real Bay Area freeway. Its measured data indicate that the site selected for this analysis stands to suffer less from the regulation than will others in the region. Yet, we predict: that the regulation will cause the site's people-hours and vehicle-hours traveled during the rush to each increase by more than 10%; and that carpool-lane traffic will share in the damages. Real data from the site support these predictions. Further parametric analysis of a hypothetical, but more generic freeway system indicates that these kinds of negative outcomes will be widespread. Constructive ways to amend the new regulation are discussed, as are promising strategies to increase the vehicle speeds in carpool lanes by improving the travel conditions in regular lanes. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Publisher
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Issue Date
2012-08
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

TRAVEL-TIME SAVINGS; KINEMATIC WAVES; OCCUPANCY; CONGESTION; BEHAVIOR; IMPACT; RAMP

Citation

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PART A-POLICY AND PRACTICE, v.46, no.7, pp.1108 - 1123

ISSN
0965-8564
DOI
10.1016/j.tra.2012.01.008
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/103179
Appears in Collection
GT-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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