Evaluation of Hov-lanes in Norway
T Haugen, SINTEF, NO
Better efficiency of the existing road infrastructure, reduced air pollution and bus priority is important goals for the road authorities. One strategy is introduction of HOV-lanes. An HOV-lane is a lane that can be used by buses, taxies, motorcycles and carpools.
In Norway several HOV-lane projects has been evaluated, but none has been implemented until 2001. Based on results from traffic simulations (with the simulation model CORSIM) the first HOV-lane in Norway was implemented in Elgeseter Street the city of Trondheim the 9th of May 2001. Elgeseter Street is an arterial street in the city centre with 2 lanes in each direction.
The simulation study evaluated an HOV-lane for carpools with 2 or more occupants (2+) and 3 or more occupants (3+). The results showed that an HOV-lane for carpools with 2 or more occupants would improve travel times, and give more reliable travel times, for buses. Travel time in the ordinary lane would increase, by not dramatic. Air pollution would not be affected.
An HOV-lane for carpools with 3 or more occupants would also improve and smooth travel time for buses, but not more than the 2+ case. Travel time and queues in the ordinary lane would increase considerable, and air pollution would increase. It is also expected fewer accidents in the 2+ case than in the 3+ case due to fewer lane changes and more equal speed in the 2 lanes. (The HOV-lane is the right lane). Based on the simulation results an HOV-lane for 2 or more occupants was chosen in Trondheim.
In the city of Bergen an HOV lane was simulated, but implemented, because of less advantages than in Trondheim. In two other cities, Oslo and Kristiansand, HOV-lanes was established without any investigation by use of simulation tools.
A field evaluation is carried out both in Trondheim and Kristiansand. The evaluation is based on parameters like on parameters like travel time, car occupancy, traffic volume, queue length and HOV- violators.
Some of the results from the morning peek in Trondheim was that:
*Car occupancy increased from 1.33 persons per car to 1.37-1.38 persons per car. The number of cars with single occupancy are reduced by almost 4 percentage points.
*The total traffic volume is approximately the same before and after the opening of the HOV-lane. The are a little decrease in traffic with the HOV-lane, but not significant.
*Several people expected that the HOV-lane would transfer traffic to other streets. But no significant changes in traffic volumes are found on other nearby streets.
*The left lane has increased travel time after the opening of the HOV-lane. The peak also starts earlier, and lasts longer.
The final paper will present all results from the field evaluations in Trondheim and Kristiansand, and it?ll also cover some results from the simulations in Trondheim and Bergen.
Association for European Transport