Critique of a Freeway On-Ramp Metering Scheme and Broader Related Issues
Offered here is a critique of a simple scheme recently proposed for metering freeway on-ramps. An earlier report of this scheme's potential for reducing commuter delay is shown to be exaggerated. The discussion makes clear that to reduce delay, metering should increase the rates at which commuters exit the freeway. The scheme critiqued here, as well as other well-known metering algorithms, are shown to have deficiencies in this, particularly when the freeway is plagued by a diverge bottleneck with a congested off-ramp. Other more effective schemes for reducing the delay caused by these types of bottlenecks are described. Suitable ways of field-testing freeway traffic management strategies are discussed as well.