Metering with Traffic Signal Control – Development and Evaluation of an Algorithm

Metering with Traffic Signal Control – Development and Evaluation of an Algorithm


Henk Taale, Delft University of Technology, Serge Hoogendoorn, Delft University of Technology, Patrick Legius, Delft University of Technology


Sometimes ramp-metering is not possible. For those situations an algorithm was developed to meter with traffic signal control on intersections on the urban network. The algorithm was tested with simulation and showed good results.


In The Netherlands ramp metering is often used to decrease traffic jams on motorways and to improve throughput. Evaluation studies showed that it is a very effective measures: the capacity of the motorway increased with 0% - 5%, speed on the motorway with on average 15 km/h and delay decreased with 8% - 20%. To come to a further integration of traffic management for motorways and urban traffic control, field operational tests are done to coordinate the operation of ramp metering systems with traffic signal control. In this pilot project traffic signals are adjusted to buffer traffic on upstream intersections in such a way that the ramp metering system can handle all traffic coming to the on-ramp and thus avoiding blocking back to the street network. The paper will discuss this coordination algorithm.

For some on-ramps it is not possible to install a ramp metering system for geometric or other reasons. But possibly it is still possible to somehow meter traffic with the traffic lights of nearby intersections in such a way that the situation on the motorway improves and on the urban network the situation does not get worse. The research described in this paper investigates the possibility to use the traffic lights as metering lights if a ramp metering system is not available on the on-ramp. For this an algorithm was developed and tested in a simulation environment. The results showed that it is possible and effective, but the effectiveness is less than with regular ramp metering. The paper will give a full description and all results.


Association for European Transport