Toll Plaza Merging Traffic Control for Throughput Maximization
A simple real-time merging traffic control concept is proposed for efficient toll plaza management in cases where the total flow exiting from the toll booths exceeds the capacity of the downstream highway (or bridge, or tunnel), leading to congestion and reduced efficiency due to capacity drop. Merging traffic control aims at maintaining the number of vehicles in the merge area close to a critical value that maximizes throughput: to this end, an algorithm known from local ramp metering operations is proposed (ALINEA). The potential control concept efficiency is demonstrated by use of microscopic simulation applied to a particular toll plaza infrastructure with and without merging traffic control. It is shown that the employed feedback regulator is little sensitive to various settings which indicates easy applicability with low fine-tuning needs in potential field applications. The case of partially uncontrolled lanes (e.g., for high-occupancy vehicles, buses or other vehicles) is also addressed.