Analysing Loop Data for Quick Evaluation of Traffic Management Measures

Analysing Loop Data for Quick Evaluation of Traffic Management Measures


Henk Taale, AVV, Ministry of Transport, NL


The paper describes a tool for the analysis of loop detector data of motorway stretches. The tool is used to make a quick evaluation of traffic management measures.


In The Netherlands transport and traffic policy heavily relies on traffic management. Building new roads is either too expensive or too difficult due to spatial and environmental conditions. Road pricing will not be feasible the coming years, so traffic management is the key direction in which solutions for the increasing congestion problems have to be found. From 1989 a lot of traffic management measures were implemented. The basis for traffic management and for measurement forms a monitoring system consisting of loop detectors on a large part of the motorway. More and more, data from this monitoring system is available for all kinds of research purposes.
Evaluation has always been an important subject in The Netherlands. A lot of traffic man-agement measures were evaluated, resulting in numerous evaluation reports, describing large measurement programs and thorough statistical analysis. Gradually, the need arose to do a quick evaluation, just to see if a traffic management measure was working in real life or not. To support this need, AVV Transport Research Centre developed a tool to process and analyse the loop detector data for a stretch of motorway.
The tool takes the files with data (on a minute by minute base) and processes them. The data consists of speeds and flows per lane or carriageway. If data is missing, it tries to fill the gaps. Of course, this can only be done if the gaps are not too large. After this a lot of indica-tors are calculated: flows and speeds on an aggregated level, travel time, vehicle kilometres, total delay, etc.
The tool was used to assess the effectiveness of some speed measures on three motorways. In the paper the tool and the applications will be described, together with the results of the quick evaluations.


Association for European Transport