Application of MFDs to Dynamic Traffic Management

This report describes a first attempt to use the macroscopic fundamental diagram (MFD) in the Netherlands. An MFD can be a useful concept in applying network traffic management. In The Netherland a project is done to study the effects of network traffic management and the work described in this report was part of that project.

Because a lack of empirical data, data from two traffic models (Regional Traffic Management Explorer and VISSIM) was used to derive MFDs. It appeared that the results from the Regional Traffic Management Explorer were not very useful to derive MFDs. This was analysed and it appeared that this has to do with the way in which traffic is modelled. The results from VISSIM were also not completely consistent with theory. However these problems do not affect reading the important patterns on MFD such as the critical density and the maximum flow. So the VISSIM is proven a feasible model to derive MFD.

After this the effects of two traffic management measures on the shape and parameters of the MFD were investigated with VISSIM. The simulations show that traffic management does influence the MFD a lot. Therefore, it is possible to use MFD's in traffic management. Finally, the report describes the possibility of using the MFD as an evaluation method. A multi-criteria analysis is made to compare the MFD and the conventional method, in which the traffic situation is revealed by travel time and travel speed. The combination of the MFD and the conventional method seems the best option to use in evaluations.

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