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Title: An Investigation of Solutions to Alleviate Recurring Congestion on Freeways
Contact: Michael D. Fontaine
Associate Director for Safety, Operations, and Traffic Engineering
Project No.: 84667
Target Date: 03/31/2009
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to develop and model potential solutions to alleviate recurring congestion in Northern Virginia on I-95 and I-66.  Techniques such as dynamic ramp metering, variable speed limits, and minor geometric improvements will be investigated for their potential to mitigate congestion. Data will be examined to determine how and why the traffic flow breaks down and the process by which it returns to normal.  The exact speed, time of day, volume, density and geometric characteristics at the critical points will be recorded.  Conditions immediately prior to flow breakdown will be examined in an effort to identify predictors for future breakdowns and triggers for implementation of countermeasures.  Modeling will be used to quantify the potential benefits of any proposed countermeasures.

     Michael Demetsky
     Nicholas Mazzenga
     Catherine C. McGhee