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What Is an Effective Way to Measure Arterial Demand When It Exceeds Capacity?
Mecit Cetin, Ph.D., Hong Yang, Ph.D., Kun Xie, Ph.D., Giridhar Kattepogu, and Behrouz Salahshour
Year: 2019
VTRC No.: 22-R19

This project focused on developing and evaluating methods for estimating demand volume for oversaturated corridors. Measuring demand directly with vehicle sensors is not possible when demand is larger than capacity for an extended period, as the queue grows beyond the sensor, and the flow measurements at a given point cannot exceed the capacity of the section. The main objective of the study was to identify and develop methods that could be implemented in practice based on readily available data. To this end, two methods were proposed: an innovative method based on shockwave theory; and the volume delay function adapted from the Highway Capacity Manual. Both methods primarily rely on probe vehicle speeds (e.g., from INRIX) as the input data and the capacity of the segment or bottleneck being analyzed. The proposed methods were tested with simulation data and validated based on volume data from the field. The results show both methods are effective for estimating the demand volume and produce less than 4% error when tested with field data.