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CRITICAL EVALUATION OF ROADWAY CAPACITY OF MULTI-LANE HIGH SPEED CORRIDORS UNDER HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS

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Paper No. 566

CRITICAL EVALUATION OF ROADWAY CAPACITY OF MULTI-LANE HIGH SPEED CORRIDORS UNDER HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS

S. VELMURUGAN*, ERRAMPALLI MADHU**, K. RAVINDER***, K. SITARAMANJANEYULU**** & S. GANGOPADHYAY*****

ABSTRACT

The major factors affecting the Road User Costs (RUC) are the speed coupled with traffic flow characteristics at which vehicles operate on roads, which in turn determines fuel consumption and other cost components per unit distance traveled. Considering this, the Government of India has been involved in roadway capacity augmentation by building multi-lane divided carriageways to link major cities through the implementation of various projects, like, Golden Quadrilateral, North-South, East-West and Expressway Corridors during the last decade. These radical changes in road network coupled with radical advancements in vehicle technology have resulted in huge variations in speed - flow characteristics, which necessitated the evolution of exclusive speed-flow equations and roadway capacity for multi-lane highways. Accordingly, an attempt has been made in this Paper to explicitly study the speed - flow characteristics on varying types of multi-lane highways encompassing four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways in plain terrain. From the collected data, free speed profiles and speed - flow equations for different vehicle types for varying widths of multi-lane highways in the country has been developed based on traditional and microscopic simulation models and subsequently roadway capacity has been estimated. Further, the lane change behavior of different vehicle types has been extensively studied and its impact on roadway capacity has been estimated on multi-lane highways. Finally, the Design Service Volume for varying types of divided carriageways including four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane has been evolved with reasonable degree of authenticity under the prevailing heterogeneous traffic conditions on multi-lane highways in India.

Key Words: Free Speed, Speed-Flow Equations, Roadway Capacity, Lane Change Behaviour, High Speed Corridors;

1 PREAMBLE

The sustained economic growth in India in recent years has brought opportunities and challenges to the planning and management of the Indian transportation system. Like in other developing countries, the transportation system in India is characterized by limited roadway infrastructure and the lack of operation and management experience. Among the most critical issues in highway planning and management is to determine the roadway capacities of any highway. As such, India has one of the largest road networks in the world hovering around 3.5 million km at present. For the purpose of management and

administration, roads in India are divided into five categories namely, National Highways (NH), State Highways (SH), Major District Roads (MDR), Other District Roads (ODR) and Village Roads (VR). NHs are intended to facilitate medium and long distance inter-city passenger and freight traffic across the country and they are also serve as main arterial roads which run through length and breadth of the country connecting sea ports, state capitals, major industrial and tourist centers. Though the NHs constitutes less than 2 per cent of the total road network, but carries 40 per cent of the total road traffic. The road infrastructure and available

* Contact Author and Scientist, TE & TPA

**

***

****

*****

Scientist, TE & TPA

Scientist, TE & TPA

Scientist, PED

Director

} Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) Mathura Road, CRRI (P.O.) New Delhi - 110020, India E-mail: vms_04@yahoo.co.in; vms.crri@nic.in

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transport services in the country are highly inadequate for achieving faster movement of passenger and goods movement in comparison with the situation in the developed world. Many sections of the highways are in

need of capacity augmentation, pavement strengthening, rehabilitation of bridges, improvement of riding quality, provision of traffic safety measures, etc. Eventually it

has been realized by the Government of India that the

above mentioned gross inadequacies in the NH network coupled with congestion caused by heterogeneity in traffic

mix is contributing to huge economic losses in terms of

high Road User Cost (RUC), which is also contributing to high rate of road accidents. Realising the present shortcomings in the transport sector, the Government of India has initiated massive construction programmes of highways linking major cities/activity centres. This has led to gradual growth in the quantum of NH network, which was around 22,255 km in 1951 has risen to 70,548 km as of March 2009 (Velmurugan et. al., 2009).

Considering the above mandate of the Government, it

was felt essential to quantify the investment made on the

multilane highways by developing RUC models exclusive to multi-lane highways. Eventually, a study has been undertaken by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), New Delhi under the aegis of Planning Commission, Government of India in 2008 focusing on evolving free speed and speed - flow relationships and finally develop RUC models for high speed corridors. The term 'High Speed Corridors' used in this study implies four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided inter-city highways. The automobile industry and road design standards in India have also undergone tremendous changes in the recent decade. Therefore, it was considered necessary to take a look at the changing trends of prevailing speed - flow characteristics considering the emerging high speed corridors of India. In 1982, speed - flow studies were carried out as a part of Road User Cost Study (RUCS) and they are subsequently updated in the years 1992 and 2001 for varying carriageway widths (CRRI, 1982, Kadiyali, 1992 and CRRI, 2001). From here onwards, these studies will be referred in this Paper as RUCS-1982, URUCS-1992

and URUCS-2001, respectively. Basically, the speed - flow relationships developed in the above studies encompassed only up to four lane divided carriageways as the multi-lane highways beyond such carriageway widths were not existent at that time in India.

In this Paper, an attempt has been made for the first time to explicitly study the free speed profiles and speed - flow characteristics on varying types of multi-lane highways covering four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways in plain terrain. In order to assess these characteristics, Time Mean Speed (TMS) under free flow conditions and Space Mean Speed (SMS) coupled with traffic flow data was extensively collected spread over different regions of India. From the collected data, free speed profiles of different vehicle types on high speed corridors and speed - flow equations have been developed based on traditional and microscopic simulation models. Subsequently, capacity norms for such high speed corridors were also evolved. The impact of typical Indian driving behavior i.e. how the lane change behavior affects roadway capacity on multi-lane highways has been assessed through microscopic simulation approach. Finally, based on the results derived in this study, the Design Service Volume (DSV) for varying types of multi-lane highways including four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways has been evolved with reasonable degree of authenticity under the prevailing heterogeneous traffic conditions. The outcome from this study is expected to form an important input for developing RUC models exclusively for varying type of multi-lane highways. This Paper has been structured as given below.

In the next section, an exhaustive overview of speed - flow studies carried out in India and elsewhere for multi-lane highways is summarized. The details in respect of free speed and speed-flow data collected at various road sections are discussed in Section 3 coupled with the description of data collection methodology. The results derived from free speed analysis are presented in Section 4, whereas speed - flow equations developed for different vehicle types covering varying carriageway widths on multi-lane highways based on traditional and microscopic simulation models is dealt in Section 5. The

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CRITICAL EVALUATION OF ROADWAY CAPACITY OF MULTI-LANE HIGH SPEED CORRIDORS UNDER HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS

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procedure adopted for evolving the roadway capacity norms for varying carriageway widths on multi-lane highways is also discussed in the same section. The impact of lane change behavior on roadway capacity is presented in detail in Section 6. Finally, the conclusions emerging from this study are discussed in Section 7.

2 CAPACITY STUDIES ON MULTI-LANE HIGHWAYS

This section focuses on the studies accomplished for multi-lane highways only. As such, the determination of highway capacity is one of the most important applications of any traffic theory (Kerner, 2004). Some previous theories and empirical researches focused on the interrelationships among the influence of capacity, traffic features, geometric elements, environmental conditions and temporal weather factors on interrupted multi-lane highways (see for example, Hoban, 1987; Iwasaki, 1991; Ibrahim and Hall, 1994 and Shankar and Mannering, 1998). Many years of research has led to the development of theories and methodologies in roadway capacity analysis in the developed countries. For example, the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) developed in the United States of America describes roadway capacity under ideal conditions and then estimates practical capacities under prevailing conditions in the field. US-HCM 2000 (TRB, 2000) suggested that a maximum flow rate that can be achieved on a multilane highway is 2200 PCU/hour/lane. The Danish method is also a modification of U.S. HCM to suit Danish conditions. The adjustment factors in the Danish method cause a steeper capacity reduction than in US-HCM 2000 as the conditions become less ideal and therefore, the capacity under ideal conditions on a four-lane highway is 2300 PCU/hour/lane on Denmark highways (Nielsen and Jorgensen, 2008). Similarly, in Finland and Norway too, US-HCM 2000 (TRB, 2000) was followed with minor modifications to suit the local conditions and the roadway capacities obtained by the Finnish and Norwegian methods for multi-lane highways is 2000 PCU/hour/lane The structure of the Swedish method is similar to the US-HCM (1995) and it uses the 1995 HCM adjustment factors for the roadway width, whereas other adjustments

factors are mostly omitted. Consequently, the Swedish method yielded higher capacity estimates and the estimated capacity of four-lane divided highways was 4200 PCUs/hour per direction (Luttinen and Innamaa, 2000). The Australian method for analysis of capacity was basically same as that of US-HCM method with the basic difference being additional modification has been suggested for specific problems. Under ideal conditions, the average minimum headway of 1.8 seconds was considered and maximum flow of 2000 vehicles per hour per lane was assumed. The succeeding paragraph focuses on the roadway capacity evolved in Asian countries like Indonesia and China for multi-lane highways wherein largely heterogeneous traffic conditions as experienced on Indian highways is witnessed.

Bang et. al. (1997) in their study for establishing Indonesia HCM mentioned that travel speed (synonymous with journey speed) as the main measure of performance of road segments, since it is easy to understand and to measure, and is an essential input to road user costs in economic analysis. Travel speed is defined in this manual as the space mean speed of light vehicles (LV) over the road segment as given below:

  L V = T T where, V = L = TT =
 

L

V =

TT

where, V

=

L

=

TT

=

(1)

space mean speed (km/h) of Light Vehicles (LVs)

length of segment (km)

mean travel time of LVs over the segment (in hours)

Using this analogy, the capacity of multi-lane highways has been estimated as 2300 LVs/hour/lane for Indonesian multi-lane highways. In the case of Chinese conditions, based on the field data collected, VTI highway simulation model was calibrated and validated and this model was used for the determination of Passenger Car Equivalents (PCE) and speed-flow relationships for different terrain types in parallel with multiple regression analysis of empirical speed-flow data. The results showed that the free-flow speeds of vehicles were substantially low and

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that the roadway capacity was also marginally lower (2100 PCEs per lane on four-lane divided carriageways) under Chinese conditions as compared with the values obtained for Indonesian multi-lane highways. Further, Yang and Zhang (2005) have established based on their extensive field survey of traffic flow on multi-lane highways in Beijing and subsequent empirical model development that the average roadway capacity per hour per lane on four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways is 2104, 1973 and 1848 PCUs, respectively. This is unlike HCM results obtained for many developed countries which prescribe that average capacity per lane on different highways is equal as they assume that highway capacity is constantly proportional to the number of lanes on multi-lane divided carriageways.

Based on the review of above studies in both developed and developing countries it is obvious that the roadway design and traffic control practices are mostly country or region specific and hence cannot be simply transferred to any country for direct applications. In this context, it is be noted that the roadway capacity and the conditions for adjustment are vastly different on Indian roadways as the local roadway design (i.e. lane width, curves and grades), vehicle size and more importantly, traffic mix and behaviour of a driver especially lane changing and lane discipline phenomenon are entirely different. Further, since there is not a systematic approach to this problem, coupled by a lack of fundamental data, the adjustment factors from say, the US HCM 2000 (TRB, 2000) cannot be easily revised and applied to Indian highways. This is because adherence to lane discipline characterizes homogeneous traffic in the developed nations whereas very loose lane discipline describes heterogeneous traffic which is very much an integral part of all roadways in India including multi-lane highways. This is due to fast moving vehicles cars, goods vehicles, motorized two wheelers sharing the same road space with bicycles, farm tractors, tractor trailers and other types of slow moving vehicles (like cycle rickshaw, animal drawn vehicles, etc.) on the Indian traffic scene accounting for varying proportion on multi-lane highways depending on its geographical location.

Ironically, most of the models discussed above developed for homogeneous condition are not applicable for the heterogeneous traffic prevalent on Indian roads. Eventually, the first major research effort in India in this direction was done as part of the RUCS-1982 and this was followed by URUCS-1992 and URUCS-2001. IRC-64 (1990) suggested the tentative DSV of 40,000 PCUs for the four-lane divided carriageway in plain terrain, which is significantly lesser than the values evolved in most of the developed and developing countries and therefore the need was felt for revisiting the DSV values evolved under IRC-64. Consequently, many research studies (Kadiyali, et. al., 1991, Tiwari, et. al., 2000, Velmurugan et. al., 2002, 4. Chandra S. and Kumar U., 2003, Reddy, et. al., 2003, Chandra, 2004, Errampalli, et. al., 2004, Velmurugan, et. al., 2004, Dey, 2007, Errampalli, et. al., 2009, Velmurugan et. al., 2009) aimed at assessing the roadway capacity for varying carriageway widths including single lane, intermediate lane, two-lane bi-directional and four-lane divided carriageway widths covering different terrains have been carried out during the last two decades. URUCS-2001 recommended tentative roadway capacity of 70,000- 90,000 PCUs/day for a four-lane divided carriageway in plain terrain (1750-2250 PCU/hr/lane considering 10 per cent peak hour flow). Chandra and Kumar (2003) studied the effect of roadway width on capacity under different volume capacity ratios and varying proportions of vehicles. Shukla (2008) studied the mixed traffic flow behavior on four-lane divided highway for varying conditions of traffic volume and shoulder and developed a simulation model for the observed traffic flow to estimate roadway capacity under these conditions. To understand the traffic flow behavior on four-lane divided highways under mixed traffic condition, the arrival pattern of vehicles, speed characteristics, lateral placement of vehicles and overtaking behavior was analyzed. Shukla (2008) further reported that the roadway capacity of four- lane divided carriageways as 4770 vehicles/hour (vph) in each direction is estimated for 'all cars' situation.

This exhaustive look at the literature indicates that no substantial work has been carried out for establishing the

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

CRITICAL EVALUATION OF ROADWAY CAPACITY OF MULTI-LANE HIGH SPEED CORRIDORS UNDER HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS

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roadway capacity and DSV for varying carriageway widths on multi-lane highways covering four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways for the heterogeneous traffic mix prevalent on Indian highways with reasonable degree of confidence and hence this research endeavor can be termed as a significant attempt in this direction. The following section describes the methodology adopted for accomplishing this study.

3 STUDY METHDOLOGY

As mentioned in Section 1, the primary objectives of the present study are to assess the free speeds of different vehicle types on multi-lane high speed corridors and develop a realistic speed - flow equations for estimating the roadway capacity. From these results, DSV values are proposed to determine for varying types of multi-lane high speed corridors. In order to achieve the above envisaged objectives, separate methodologies are adopted for deriving free speed profiles and speed - flow relations for varying carriageway widths. To accomplish the above stated objectives, the following studies were conducted:

a) Free Speed studies

b) Speed - Flow studies

3.1 Free Speed Studies

In the present study, free speed data was collected on different NHs and Expressways spread across the length and breadth of the country using Pro-Laser Instrumentation System (Laser Speed Measurement Gun) and trap length method at 21 selected road sections covering varying carriageway widths on multi-lane highways. As the selected test sections are divided road segments possessing varying horizontal curvature and traffic conditions in the two directions of the roadway, the above traffic data collection was carried out at each of the locations on both directions of travel as though each direction was a separate one-way road and hence the total number of study sections amounts to 42. The list of test sections considered is given in Table 1. All these study sections possess good riding quality with roughness

ranging around 2500 mm/km. The test sections have been chosen as far as possible away from the urban influence so that free flow conditions can be experienced. As can be inferred from Table 1, the number of six-lane divided carriageway road sections considered is only 3, whereas eight lane divided carriageway considered is only 1. This may be attributed to the relatively lesser number of road sections presently available in these categories without having the urban influence as compared to the four lane divided carriageways on inter-city corridors. As the test sections include four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane carriageways, separate analysis has been carried out for these carriageways. Further, it can also be noted from Table 1 that some of the selected test sections are lying in curved sections. These sections are specifically selected to incorporate the impact of horizontal curvature on the vehicular speeds and determine the generalized free speed characteristics on these highways. The free speed data was collected by classifying the vehicles into following categories namely Cars (which is further sub-classified into two categories namely Small Cars < 1400 cc engine capacity and Big Cars > 1400 cc engine capacity), Two Wheelers (TWs), Auto Rickshaws (Autos), Buses, Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs), Two-axle Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCVs) and Multi-axle Heavy Commercial Vehicles (MAVs).

3.2 Methodology for Free Speed Analysis

The observed free speeds of different vehicle types were classified into suitable intervals generally of 5 kilometers per hour (kmph) to determine the frequency distribution of vehicles as per speed. The mean speed and standard deviation (SD) values were calculated from the frequency distributions. Further, these data were fitted to normal distribution using mean and SD of vehicle speeds. From these distributions, important parameters namely 15 th Percentile Speed (V 15 ), 50 th Percentile Speed (V 50 ), 85 th Percentile Speed (V 85 ), 95 th Percentile Speed (V 95 ) and Spread Ratio (SR) were calculated to check the validity of the data. V 15 is used to determine the lower speed limit whereas V 85 is used for upper speed limits and V 95 is

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used as a design speed for geometric design of highways. The SR is used to explain normality of the observed data and it is defined as,

SR

=

normality of the observed data and it is defined as, SR = V 85 − V

V

85

V

50

V

50

V

15

(2)

The estimated frequency curve will be truly normal when SR is unity. It will tend to deviate from the normal distribution as SR deviates from the unity. As can be seen from the fitted normal distributions, the speed data follow

the normal curve only when SR is ranging between 0.69

and 1.35 (Dey, et. al., 2006).

Table 1

Selected Test Sections for Free Speed and Speed - Flow Studies

S. No.

National Highway (NH) / Expressway

Location

Direction

Number

Type of Section

(Chainage)

of Lanes

1

NH-2

Km 98

Delhi - Mathura

Four

Straight

2

Km 98

Mathura - Delhi

Four

Straight

3

NH-2

Km 629

Durgapur - Kolkata

Four

Curved

4

Km 629

Kolkata - Durgapur

Four

Curved

5

NH-2

Km 643

Durgapur - Kolkata

Four

Straight

6

Km 643

Kolkata - Durgapur

Four

Straight

7

NH-4

Km 1242

Bangalore - Chennai

Four

Straight

8

Km 1242

Chennai - Bangalore

Four

Straight

9

NH-5

Km 1501

Chennai - Kolkata

Four

Curved

10

Km 1501

Kolkata - Chennai

Four

Curved

11

 

Km 44

Kharagpur - Kolkata

Four

Curved

12

NH-6

Km 44

Kolkata - Kharagpur

Four

Curved

13

 

Km 47

Kharagpur - Kolkata

Four

Straight

14

NH-6

Km 47

Kolkata - Kharagpur

Four

Straight

15

 

Km 29

Chenglepat - Chennai

Four

Straight

16

NH-45

Km 29

Chennai - Chenglepat

Four

Straight

17

 

Km 58

Chennai - Villupuram

Four

Curved

18

NH-45

Km 58

Villupuram - Chennai

Four

Curved

19

 

Km 98

Chennai - Villupuram

Four

Straight

20

NH-45

Km 98

Villupuram - Chennai

Four

Straight

21

 

Km 5

Vijayawada - Kolkata

Four

Straight

22

NH-5

Km 5

Kolkata - Vijayawada

Four

Straight

23

 

Km 1069

Vijayawada - Guntur

Four

Straight

24

NH-5

Km 1069

Guntur - Vijayawada

Four

Straight

25

 

Km 15

Hyderabad - Warangal

Four

Straight

26

NH-202

Km 15

Warangal - Hyderabad

Four

Straight

27

 

Km 25

Hyderabad - Bangalore

Four

Straight

28

NH-7

Km 25

Bangalore - Hyderabad

Four

Straight

29

 

Km 462

Hyderabad - Nagpur

Four

Straight

30

NH-7

Km 462

Nagpur - Hyderabad

Four

Straight

(Table 1 Contd

)

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

CRITICAL EVALUATION OF ROADWAY CAPACITY OF MULTI-LANE HIGH SPEED CORRIDORS UNDER HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS

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(Table 1 Contd

)

S. No.

National Highway (NH) / Expressway

Location

Direction

Number

Type of Section

(Chainage)

of Lanes

31

 

NH-9

Km 462

Hyderabad - Mumbai

Four

Straight

32

Km 499

Mumbai - Hyderabad

Four

Straight

33

 

NH-9

Km 30

Hyderabad-Vijayawada

Four

Straight

34

Km 30

Vijayawada-Hyderabad

Four

Straight

35

 

Greater Noida

Near Lotus

Delhi - Noida

Six

Straight

36

Expressway

Valley School

Noida - Delhi

Six

Straight

37

 

Greater Noida

Near Panchsheel

Delhi - Greater Noida

Six

Curved

38

Expressway

Bal College

Greater Noida - Delhi

Six

Curved

39

 

NH-1

Km 38

Delhi - Sonepat

Six

Straight

40

Km 38

Sonepat - Delhi

Six

Straight

41

 

Delhi-Gurgaon

Near IFFCO

Delhi - Gurgaon

Eight

Straight

42

Expressway

Chowk

Gurgaon - Delhi

Eight

Straight

3.3 Speed - Flow Studies

The speed - flow studies were conducted along with free speed studies at the test sections mentioned in Table 1. In the case of speed - flow studies, Registration Plate Survey was conducted for determination of journey speeds and simultaneously Classified Traffic Volume Counts were conducted to estimate flow by synchronizing start time of the traffic volume with that of the Registration Plate survey. Traffic volume counts and Registration Plate Survey were conducted for 8 hrs on a typical normal working day by following the vehicle classification adopted in the free speed studies. Space Mean Speed (SMS) data was extracted out of the Registration Plate survey. This is a conventional procedure used for determining the speeds by recording the vehicle registration number, entry and exit time of vehicles on a defined trap length with the help of two synchronized stop clocks. The trap lengths of the road stretches selected for the mean speed measurements ranged between 400 m to 900 m. By noting the registration number and time of arrival and departure of the vehicles at the entry and exit points, the travel time over the selected trap length was determined and thereby the travel speed was derived. Based on the collected speed and flow data, speed - flow relationships are proposed to develop for different vehicle types for four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways separately.

3.4 Methodology for Speed - Flow Equations and Roadway Capacity

In the present study, the traffic flow data was analyzed by typically dividing the traffic volume into two segments corresponding to congested and uncongested traffic conditions as shown in Fig. 1 (Yao, et. al., 2009). The two segments encompass the following:

(i)

Uncongested (Upper Part):Traffic related to Uncongested and Queue Discharge states

(ii)

Congested (Lower Part): Traffic related to Queuing state (Stop and Go)

(Lower Part): Traffic related to Queuing state (Stop and Go) Fig. 1 Uncongested and Congested Parts

Fig. 1

Uncongested and Congested Parts of Speed-Flow Curve

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It is proposed to analyze these two parts separately and determine the speed - flow relationships separately in the present study. For upper part (Uncongested) of the curve, different models including linear, exponential, polynomial, logarithmic, power, Akcelik and Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) have been attempted whereas for the lower part of the curve, linear, polynomial, logarithmic, power and exponential models were tried to be fitted and the model exhibiting best fit with the field data was adopted. The forms of these models are selected based

on the formulations given in Table 2. These formulations are adopted for developing speed-flow equations and selected based on their statistical validity. Using this procedure, the speed - flow equations for different vehicle types on varying carriageway widths on multi-lane highways namely four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways have been developed. In this study, the roadway capacity is considered as the intersecting point of best speed - flow models developed for the upper and lower part as shown in Fig. 2.

Table 2

Functional Form of Candidate Models for Speed-Flow Curves

Name of the Equation

 

Functional

Comments

Form

Linear

 

v = α - x +β

Not always advisable; Reaches zero speed at high F/Fcap

Logarithmic

 

v = - α ln x + β

Not always advisable; Has no value at x = 0 (the logarithm of "x" approaches negative infinity).

Exponential

v

= α v f exp(- β x)

Has all the required traits for equilibrium assignment

Power

 

v = α /x β

Not always advisable; It goes to infinity at F/F cap at x = 0.

Polynomial

v = -α x 2 -βx + γ

Not always advisable; It reaches zero speed at high F/F

cap

Bureau of Public Roads (BPR)

v

= v f /(1+ α (x) β )

Has all the required traits for equilibrium assignment

Akcelik

V = L/[L / v f + 0.25{(x - 1) + SQRT{(x - 1) 2 + α x}}]

Has all the required traits for equilibrium assignment.

Note

v = Speed; α , β and γ = Global Parameters for Equation; x = F/F cap ratio; v f = Free - Flow Speed;

F = Flow; F cap = Capacity Flow; L = Link Length;

= Flow; F c a p = Capacity Flow; L = Link Length; Fig. 2 Flow

Fig. 2

Flow (PCU/hr) Capacity Estimation from Speed-Flow Curves

3.5 Design Service Volume (DSV)

Design Service Volume (DSV) is defined as the maximum hourly volume at which vehicles can reasonably be expected to traverse a point or uniform section of a lane or roadway during a given time period under the prevailing roadway, traffic and control conditions while maintaining a designated Level of Service (LOS). From the view point of smooth traffic flow, it is not advisable to design the width of carriageway (or for determining the number of lanes) for a traffic volume equal to its capacity which is available at LOS-E. At this level, the speeds are low (typically half the free speed) and freedom to maneuver

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

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within the traffic stream is extremely restricted. Besides, at this level of service, even a small increase in volume would lead to forced flow situation and breakdowns within the traffic stream. Even the flow conditions at LOS-C and LOS-D involve significant vehicle interaction leading to lower level of comfort and convenience. In contrast, LOS-B represents a stable flow zone which affords reasonable freedom to drivers in terms of speed selection and maneuvers within the traffic stream. Under normal circumstances, therefore, the use of LOS-B is considered desirable for the design of rural highways. At this level, volume of traffic will be around 0.5 times the roadway capacity and this is taken as the DSV for the purpose of determining the carriageway width.It is recommended that for major arterial routes, LOS-B should be adopted for design purposes. On other roads under exceptional circumstances, LOS-C could also be adopted for design. Under these conditions, traffic will experience congestion and inconvenience during some of the peak hours, which may be acceptable. This planning decision should be taken in each case specially after carefully considering factors, like, suburban conditions, economic feasibility, etc. For LOS-C, DSV can be taken as 40 percent higher than those for LOS B.

4 FREE SPEED ANALYSIS

The analysis of collected free speed data was carried out as per the methodology explained in Section 3. As mentioned in Section 3.1, the data collected for all the 42 test sections have been utilized. These sections include four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageway, but separate analysis has been carried out for these carriageways. The observed free speed data was fitted through normal distribution and relevant parameters namely average speed, standard deviation, percentile speeds and SR were estimated. The typical normal distribution and cumulative distribution curves for free speeds are given in Fig. 3.

From the normal distribution curves, free speeds of vehicles on various selected sections of the multi-lane high speed corridors are estimated and presented in Table 3, 4 and 5 for four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways respectively. These tables also present the various percentile speeds and the spread ratio of different type of vehicles. Since the free speed analysis mainly focuses on free-flow conditions, the vehicles travelling with higher speeds are considered while arriving at the average free speeds. For this purpose, the vehicle

travelling below a specified speed range was ignored as they have outliers based on the scatter plot of the data. Hence, the speed data considered for Two Wheelers, Auto Rickshaws, Buses, Cars, LCVs/Two Axle Heavy Commercial Vehicles and Multi-Axle heavy Commercial Vehicles are more than 65 kmph, 50 kmph, 60 kmph, 80 kmph, 60 kmph and 55 kmph, respectively.

From Table 3, 4 and 5, it can be observed that the normal distribution curve described the speed distributions satisfactorily in most of the vehicle types, since the SR value is ranging around 1.0 (from 0.950 to 1.157) demonstrating that SR is well within the limits. A critical evaluation of the free speed studies on four-lane, six- lane and eight-lane divided carriageway reveals the following:

a) The free speed of both small and big cars is much higher when compared with other vehicle types implying the rapid advancements in car manufacturing technologies and superiority of these engines.

b) The mean free speed of HCVs and LCVs are more or less same.

c) The mean free speed of TW is marginally higher than that of LCVs and Buses.

A summary of the free speeds in four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageway is presented in Fig. 4. The growing speeds of different vehicle types can be easily understood from Fig. 4 and the following inferences have been drawn:

a) Generally, the mean free speeds of different vehicle types on eight-lane are higher when compared to four-lane and six-lane divided carriageways.

b) Free speeds of two wheelers and cars marginally increased from four-lane to six-lane while the increase is somewhat significant from six-lane to eight-lane. This can be attributed to the achievement of their desired speeds on four-lane divided carriageway itself; hence, there is insignificant improvement of speeds on six-lane carriageway. However, the addition of one more lane on eight-lane divided carriageway offering higher freedom for vehicular movements might have aided in attaining substantial increase in desired speeds and thus resulting in enhanced free speeds.

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, R AVINDER , S ITARAMANJANEYULU & G ANGOPADHYAY ON Fig. 3 Typical Distribution of Free
, R AVINDER , S ITARAMANJANEYULU & G ANGOPADHYAY ON Fig. 3 Typical Distribution of Free
, R AVINDER , S ITARAMANJANEYULU & G ANGOPADHYAY ON Fig. 3 Typical Distribution of Free
, R AVINDER , S ITARAMANJANEYULU & G ANGOPADHYAY ON Fig. 3 Typical Distribution of Free

Fig. 3 Typical Distribution of Free Speed on Four-Lane Divided Carriageways (NH-45 at Km 98)

Table 3

Free Speed Statistics of Different Vehicles on Four-Lane Divided Carriageways

Vehicle

Sample

Avg.

 

V 15 *V 50 *V 85 *V 95 *

   

Max.

SD*

SR

Type

Size

Speed *

Speed*

TW

1191

74.2

63.5

71.7

80.1

85.0

120

7.8

1.027

Auto

753

54.2

46.3

51.6

56.9

60.5

79

5.0

0.995

Small Car

2688

92.4

80.7

89.9

100.6

106.7

161

10.1

1.157

Big Car

4137

93.0

79.7

90.1

100.4

106.3

149

9.8

1.000

Bus

2138

71.1

59.8

68.6

77.1

82.1

108

8.2

0.961

LCV

1614

68.6

58.5

66.1

73.9

78.1

113

7.3

1.019

HCV

504

68.5

58.0

65.9

74.2

78.9

103

7.7

1.038

MAV

1924

64.0

58.2

64.6

71.2

75.2

97

6.1

1.019

*kmph

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Table 4

Free Speed Statistics of Different Vehicles on Six-Lane Divided Carriageways

Vehicle

Sample

Avg.

 

V 15 *V 50 *V 85 *V 95 *

   

Max.

SD*

SR

Type

Size

Speed *

Speed*

TW

723

75.0

59.3

72.5

85.7

92.5

109

12.6

1.000

Auto

95

56.3

44.8

54.1

63.8

68.6

88

8.7

1.043

Small Car

749

93.1

80.2

90.6

100.9

106.8

136

9.8

0.998

Big Car

1132

95.5

82.1

93.0

104.0

110.6

135

10.5

1.014

Bus

283

74.4

65.1

71.8

78.4

82.1

102

6.2

0.997

LCV

93

73.6

62.9

71.0

79.5

84.4

105

7.9

1.041

HCV

83

70.7

58.6

68.2

78.3

84.4

101

9.7

1.049

MAV

109

70.5

59.0

68.0

76.8

81.9

100

8.5

0.980

*kmph

Table 5

Free Speed Statistics of Different Vehicles on Eight-Lane Divided Carriageways

Vehicle

Sample

Avg.

 

V 15 *V 50 *V 85 *V 95 *

   

Max.

SD*

SR

Type

Size

Speed *

Speed*

TW

343

77.5

63.7

75.0

86.3

92.5

90.0

10.8

1.000

Auto

11

56.7

48.8

53.9

58.8

61.7

64.0

4.5

0.950

Small Car

165

98.0

83.2

95.5

107.5

115.2

97.0

11.8

0.980

Big Car

180

101.4

84.7

98.9

113.7

122.5

104.0

14.2

1.050

Bus

246

75.7

64.9

73.2

81.3

86.2

72.0

7.7

0.980

LCV

127

74.1

61.9

71.6

107.5

86.9

74.0

9.3

1.020

HCV

24

73.2

64.1

70.7

77.0

81.2

56.0

6.1

0.970

MAV

13

72.0

62.7

69.6

76.6

81.1

57.0

6.7

1.030

*kmph

69.6 76.6 81.1 57.0 6.7 1.030 *kmph Fig. 4 Comparison of Average Free Speeds on Four-Lane,

Fig. 4

Comparison of Average Free Speeds on Four-Lane, Six-Lane and Eight-Lane Divided Carriageways for Different Vehicle Types

c) Free speeds of heavy vehicles and autos significantly increased from four-lane to six-lane while marginally increased from six-lane to eight-lane. This can be attributed to the above vehicle types not able to attain the desired speed levels on four-lanes whereas on six-lane divided carriageway the presence of additional lane is helping in achieving significant increase in free speed from four-lane to six-lane. However, there is insignificant improvement in free speeds on eight-lane as compared to six lane carriageways. As auto and heavy vehicles has achieved their desired speed levels on six-lane itself, there is no impact of eight-lane divided carriageway though it offers higher LOS for vehicle movements

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compared

carriageways.

to

six

and

four

lane

divided

5

SPEED - FLOW ANALYSIS

5.1

Traditional Model

5.1.1

Development of Speed - Flow Equations

As mentioned in Section 3.3, the traffic data in respect of journey speed, free speed and flow were collected at

the test sections given in Table 1 through registration plate method, Laser Gun and classified volume count surveys through manual means was collected for a period of 8 - 12 hrs on different types of multi lane highways spread over the country. The observed traffic volume on these road sections was analyzed and the ranges of traffic composition of various vehicle types are presented in Table 6.

Table 6

Observed Traffic Composition on Varying Types of Divided Carriageways

Vehicle Type

Traffic Composition on Divided Carriageways (in per cent)

Four-Lane

Six-Lane

Eight-Lane

Two Wheelers

4

- 59 (24)

9

- 50 (28)

9

- 29 (18)

Autos

0

- 23 (6)

0

- 12 (4)

0

- 1 (0.5)

Small Cars

1

- 36 (14)

7

- 55 (33)

23

- 53 (37)

Big Cars

1

- 43(15)

14 - 33(23)

27

- 48 (37)

Buses

1

- 45 (10)

1

- 11(3)

1

- 9 (3)

LCVs

1

- 40 (7)

1

- 6 (2)

1 - 18 (4)

HCVs

1

- 39 (11)

1

- 6 (2)

1

- 9 (1)

MAVs

1

- 32 (7)

1

- 11 (4)

1

- 9 (1)

Cycles & other Slow Moving Vehicles (SMVs)

0

- 28 (5)

0

- 4 (1)

0

- 1 (0.5)

Note: Value in the parenthesis indicates the average share (in per cent) of the specific vehicle type in the traffic stream

From Table 6, it can be inferred that the two wheelers contribute for the major proportion of traffic on four-lane and six-lane divided carriageways compared to eight-lane divided carriageway, whereas, the share of auto rickshaws is very insignificant on eight-lane carriageways. Cars dominate the proportion of traffic in all types of multi lane carriageways and share of both two wheelers and cars together constitutes more than 80 per cent on six-lane and eight-lane carriageways. In contrast, the heavy vehicles share in total volume is more in case of four-lane compared to six-lane and eight-lane carriageways. This phenomenon of higher passenger traffic on six and eight lane divided carriageways and

relatively less share of goods traffic may be due to the selection of test sections comparatively nearer to the urban center (i.e. 10 - 40 km away from the city center). The share of cycles and SMVs including tractors, animal carts etc constitute less than 5 per cent on four-lane whereas, it is negligible on six-lane and eight-lane carriageways. In order to develop speed- flow equations and estimate roadway capacity, it is necessary to convert these observed traffic volume into a common unit, which is termed as Passenger Car Unit (PCU). In the present study, the PCU factors as per Table 7 given in IRC:64 (1990) has been used for converting the total volume into PCUs.

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The observed traffic volume of different vehicle types is converted into PCUs based on the PCU factors given in Table 7. Using the analogy explained in Section 3.4, the first ever attempt was done in India in the present study by segregating speed - flow data into uncongested and congested conditions. Subsequently speed - flow

Table 7

PCU Factors adopted based on IRC Specifications (IRC: 64-1990)

Vehicle Type

PCU

Factor

Motor Cycles (MC)

0.5

Scooters (SC)

0.5

Autos (A)

1

Cycle Rick. & Other Slow Vehicles (OT)

1.5

Small Cars (<1400 cc) (CS)

1.0

Big Cars (CB)

1.0

Cycles (CY)

0.5

Buses (B)

3.0

Mini Buses (MB)

3.0

Tractors and Tractor Trailers (TT)

3.0

Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV)

1.0

Two Axle Commercial Vehicles (HCV)

3.0

Multi Axle Commercial Vehicles (MAV)

3.0

relationships were developed for different vehicle types using both non-linear and linear formulations considering uncongested and congested areas of speed - flow data separately. On critical examination of the statistical validity of each of the developed speed - flow equations, the BPR model and linear model were considered for developing the speed-flow equations. For upper curve (Uncongested) BPR equations was considered whereas for lower curve (Congested), linear formulations was considered in the case of four-lane divided carriageway considering statistical validity of the equations. In case of six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways, linear models were considered for both upper and lower curve as they are showing higher statistical validity compared to other models. A summary of developed speed-flow equations for different vehicle types are given in Table 8, 9 and 10

for four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageway respectively. For the estimation of goodness-of-fit in terms of R 2 and other statistical estimates in non-linear form of the BPR equation, the software called Statistical Packages for Social Studies (SPSS) has been used.

From Table 8, 9 and 10, it can be seen that the developed linear and BPR speed - flow equations exhibit good statistical validity in terms of good R 2 values. Hence, the developed equations are considered appropriate for estimating speeds under varying traffic conditions and can be explored for evolving roadway capacity.

5.1.2 Roadway Capacity from Traditional Model

Roadway capacity is the maximum number of vehicles which has a reasonable expectation of passing over a given section of a lane or a roadway in one direction (or in both directions for a two-lane highway) during a given period of time under prevailing roadway and traffic conditions. The capacity is usually expressed as an hourly volume. The theoretical speed - flow curve which is the fundamental diagram of traffic flow is parabolic in shape. The maximum speed is the free speed. The parabola starts from the free speed and as the volume increases, the speed generally falls down. At a point, known as the maximum capacity the parabola takes an invert turn as already shown in Fig. 1. In the present study, roadway capacity was estimated from the intersecting point of upper curve and lower curves. The estimated roadway capacity of four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways through traditional model is presented in Fig. 5. From the Fig. 5, it can be observed that the estimated roadway capacity i.e. intersecting point of upper and lower curve for four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageway is 6050, 6400 and 10500 PCUs/hour/ direction.

5.1.3 Comparison of Observed Free Speeds and Intercept of Speed - Flow Equation

To demonstrate the suitability of developed speed - flow equations through traditional model, the intercept of the equations are compared with the free speeds (refer Table 3, 4 and 5) and the comparison is presented in Table 11.

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Table 8 Speed-Flow Equations Derived from Traditional Models for Different Vehicles on Four Lane Divided Carriageways

S.

No.

Vehicle Type

Uncongested (Upper) Curve Non-Linear (BPR) Equation

Congested (Lower) Curve Linear Equation

 

1

Auto

y=66.731/(1+2.320*(x/6000.165)^¹)

y

= 0.011*x + 14.20 = 0.952

 

= 0.863

 

2

TW

y=99.49/(1+2.585*(x/7000.385)^¹)

y

= 0.008*x + 19.52 = 0.814

 

= 0.880

 

3

Cars

y=110.761/(1+1.564*(x/6999.968)^1)

y

= 0.004*x + 21.29 = = 0.861

 

= 0.887

 

4

Bus

y=94.080/(1+2.794*(x/6998.148)^1.544)

y

= 0.006*x + 22.23 = 0.674

 

= 0.885

 

5

LCV

y=87.345/(1+2.083*(x/6998.876)^1)

y

= 0.005*x + 20.83 = 0.900

 

= 0.766

 

6

HCV

y=84.230/(1+2.056*(x/6999.049^1.089)

y

= 0.002*x + 24.69 = 0.713

 

= 0.713

 

7

MAV

y=67.709/(1+3.466*(x/6995.476)^2.208)

y

= 0.002*x + 24.67 = 0.701

 

= 0.690

Note: y = speed (kmph); x = Flow (PCU/hr/Dir)

Table 9 Speed-Flow Equations from Traditional Model for Different Vehicles on Six Lane Divided Carriageways

S.

No.

Vehicle Type

Uncongested (Upper) Curve Non-Linear (BPR) Equation

Congested (Lower) Curve Linear Equation

 

1

Auto

y

= -0.004x + 59.39 = 0.525

y

= 0.009x + 19.64 = 0.570

 

2

TW

y

= -0.009x + 77.50 = 0.638

y

= 0.009x + 5.971 = 0.525

 

3

Cars

y

= -0.011x + 112.3 = 0.493

y

= 0.004x + 15.52 = 0.646

 

4

Bus

y

= -0.007x + 92.47 = 0.663

y

= 0.013x + 3.790 = 0.528

 

5

LCV

y

= -0.005x + 97.66 = 0.362

y

= 0.012x + 3.273 = 0.777

 

6

HCV

y

= -0.011x +82.60 = 0.559

y

= 0.011x + 2.227 = 0.739

 

7

MAV

y

= -0.011x + 92.38 = 0.635

y

= 0.005x + 12.04 = 0.538

Note: y = speed (kmph); x = Flow (PCU/hr/Dir)

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

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Table 10

Speed-Flow Equations from Traditional Model for Different Vehicles on Eight Lane Divided Carriageways

S. No.

Vehicle Type

Uncongested (Upper) Curve Non-Linear (BPR) Equation

Congested (Lower) Curve Linear Equation

 

1 Auto

y

= -0.001x + 53.45 = 0.606

y

= 0.001x + 31.20 = 0.709

 

2 TW

y

= -0.004x + 93.49 = 0.823

y

= 0.001x + 31.20 = 0.603

 

3 Cars

y

= -0.002x + 86.28 = 0.726

y

= -0.001x + 33.84 = 0.495

 

4 Bus

y

= -0.002x + 72.69 = 0.830

y

= -0.002x + 24.42 = 0.704

 

5 LCV

y

= -0.002x + 70.31 = 0.786

y

= 0.002x + 22.87 =0.812

 

6 HCV

y

= -0.001x +66.55 = 0.589

y

= 0.001x + 32.33 = 0.553

 

7 MAV

y

= -0.003x + 74.39 = 0.481

y

= -0.001x + 29.31 = 0.643

Note: y = speed (kmph); x = Flow (PCU/hr/Dir)

= 0.643 Note: y = speed (kmph); x = Flow ( PCU/hr/Dir ) Fig. 5 Roadway
= 0.643 Note: y = speed (kmph); x = Flow ( PCU/hr/Dir ) Fig. 5 Roadway
= 0.643 Note: y = speed (kmph); x = Flow ( PCU/hr/Dir ) Fig. 5 Roadway

Fig. 5 Roadway Capacity of Four-Lane, Six-Lane and Eight-Lane Divided Carriageways Evolved through Traditional Models

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Table 11

Comparison of Observed Free Speed with Intercept on Speed-Flow Equation

Carriageway

Vehicle Type

Observed Mean Free Speed (kmph)

Intercept of Speed- Flow Equation (kmph)

Error

(per cent)

 

Auto

54.2

66.7

23

Two Wheeler

74.2

99.5

34

Big Car

93.0

110.8

19

Four-Lane

Small Car

92.4

Bus

71.1

94.1

32

LCV

68.6

87.3

27

HCV

68.5

84.2

23

MAV

64.0

67.7

6

 

Auto

56.6

59.4

5

Two Wheeler

75.0

77.5

3

Big Car

95.5

112.3

19

Six-Lane

Small Car

93.1

Bus

74.4

92.5

24

LCV

73.6

97.7

33

HCV

70.7

82.6

17

MAV

70.5

92.4

31

 

Auto

56.7

53.5

6

Two Wheeler

77.5

93.5

21

Big Car

98.0

86.3

13

Eight-Lane

Small Car

101.4

Bus

75.7

72.7

4

LCV

74.1

70.3

5

HCV

73.2

66.6

9

MAV

72.0

74.4

3

From Table 11, it can be observed that the error between observed free speed and intercept of speed flow equations of different vehicle types on four-lane divided carriageway is ranging from 6 to 34 per cent, whereas in the case of six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageway, the range is 3 to 31 per cent and 3 to 21 per cent respectively. From the above results, it can be inferred that even though the developed speed - flow equations are exhibiting good statistical validity, the intercept derived from the traditional models has not appropriately

represented the field conditions as the error difference between the observed free speed and intercept of speed - flow equations of different vehicle types is high. This phenomenon can be attributed to the dataset considered for developing the speed - flow relationships encompasses aggregated traffic data (i.e. which includes traffic flow and average free speed over a specified time interval) and also not accounting of the typical random lane change behaviour experienced on Indian highways in all the traditional models derived in this study. To overcome this

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

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limitation, the microscopic simulation approach has been attempted in this study which is capable of representing individual vehicles on road section and estimate the driver behaviour more realistically. The microscopic simulation model has been developed to estimate speed and flow characteristics for varying carriageway widths and the details are furnished in the succeeding section.

5.2

Microscopic Simulation Model

5.2.1

Need for Microscopic Simulation

The traditional capacity estimation methods assume homogeneous conditions and lane discipline, however, it is not applicable for Indian conditions. In such circumstances, roadway capacities could be either underestimated or overestimated. Capacity estimation is primarily depends on vehicular movements on the road stretch and in this regard, lane change behaviour can severely affect the movements. On Indian roads, vehicles seldom observe lane discipline and make their own virtual lanes instead of the demarcated physical lanes. The conventional methods ignore vehicle movements and interactions and these behaviours cannot be explained which has great impact on speed - flow relationships and capacity estimation. In the absence of accounting for such situations, the output might be far from reality. As described earlier, microscopic simulation considers each and every vehicle movement on a roadway and hence such a lane change behaviour and vehicle interactions can be described. More realistic estimation of speed - flow relationships can be achieved through microscopic simulation system, which can lead to the estimation of capacity with reasonable degree of accuracy. This is because tremendous advancements that have been brought forth with by deploying microscopic simulation techniques for modelling transportation systems. Such microscopic simulations are able to model individual vehicles and pedestrians in a large area and it is possible to estimate realistic speed - flow characteristics and capacity considering all possible lane change behaviour even under heterogeneous traffic conditions. Further, these techniques are highly useful in estimating the traffic characteristics under different traffic flow and driver behaviour conditions, which cannot be observed

on the field. However, it is to be borne in mind that the data collection task needed to develop the microscopic simulation can be a bit tedious and cumbersome. To arrive at speed - flow characteristics and establish capacity norms through microscopic simulation, one has to model the flow of individual vehicles in a detailed manner for which established simulation packages can be used. The data collection and methodology followed for this phase is explained in the succeeding sections.

5.2.2 Data Collection

In order to develop a microscopic simulation model, the traffic data was again collected on Delhi - Mathura section of NH-2 near Hodal which is a four-lane divided carriageway considered to develop speed - flow equations through traditional method (S.No. 1 and 2 in Table 1). This section was specifically chosen to check the suitability of these two models namely microscopic simulation and traditional models. The reconnaissance survey was conducted on 23 rd March 2010 and the videography survey was eventually conducted from 9.30 am to 2:00 pm on 25 th March 2010 by capturing the traffic plying during the morning and afternoon time periods on both directions of travel.

5.2.3

Development

of

Microscopic Simulation

Model

The methodology followed for the microscopic simulation is shown in the form of flow chart in Fig. 6. From the Fig. 6, it can be observed that the data collection is the first and foremost requirement for understanding speed-flow characteristics on multi-lane highways. To capture lane change behavior on these multi-lane high speed corridors, videography method was adopted for data collection. The recorded film was replayed on television screen in the laboratory of CRRI, New Delhi and the required data were decoded through manual method. The vehicles were divided into ten categories and the data extracted from video recording were Volume, Space Mean Speed (SMS) and number of lane changes by individual vehicles during every five minute time interval. The video data on classified traffic volume counts, SMS and lane change behavior were decoded in a

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synchronized fashion. Using this data, a model is developed in VISSIM 4.10, a microscopic simulation software. Then the model is appropriately calibrated and validated using the observed data considering volume, speed and number lane changes. Using the validated simulation model, speed - flow relationships have been developed under two scenarios namely 'with' random lane change behavior (which is a common phenomenon on multi-lane highways in India) and also by assuming 'without' lane change conditions. The roadway capacity estimated under these two scenarios is used to assess the impact of lane change as shown in Fig. 6.

used to assess the impact of lane change as shown in Fig. 6. Fig. 6 Methodology
used to assess the impact of lane change as shown in Fig. 6. Fig. 6 Methodology
used to assess the impact of lane change as shown in Fig. 6. Fig. 6 Methodology
used to assess the impact of lane change as shown in Fig. 6. Fig. 6 Methodology
used to assess the impact of lane change as shown in Fig. 6. Fig. 6 Methodology

Fig. 6

Methodology for Estimating Capacity Considering Impact of Lane Change Behaviour

In microscopic simulation, a model which accurately represents the existing situation is known as the 'Base Model'. The base model is constructed by representing the network area that was defined in the model scope and using actual, observed traffic flow data. The validated base model is used to develop a 'future year base model' against which scenarios and design options can be

compared. The base model development can be summarized in the following steps:

1. Developing base network.

2. Defining model parameters.

3. Calibrating the network.

4. Validating the model.

Development of a network that accurately determines the constraints of a road network is an important stage in the modelling process. The basic key network building components are: Links and Connectors. In the present simulation model, links are created spanning for 130 m representing the test section near Hodal on NH-2 for both directions. However, a buffer link is provided for buffering process of the network which is taken 100 m. Both test section link and buffer links are appropriately connected by connectors. Fig. 7 shows the links created separately for Delhi - Hodal and Hodal - Delhi directions in VISSIM.

As mentioned earlier, the test section selected on NH-2 is a four-lane divided carriageway with approximately 2.0 m paved shoulder and 0.5 m earthen shoulders. Accordingly, the links are created in VISSIM with total of four lanes on each link including two lanes of main carriageway, one lane of paved shoulder and one lane of earthen shoulder as shown in Fig. 7. During the reconnaissance survey at the site, it was observed that the majority of fast moving vehicles movements are using the main carriageway and major proportion of slow moving vehicles and some proportion of the two wheelers are using the paved shoulders. By considering this phenomenon, road links are created as shown in Fig. 7.

this phenomenon, road links are created as shown in Fig. 7. Fig. 7 Created Links with

Fig. 7

Created Links with Main Carriageway and Shoulders for Four-Lane Divided Carriageway in VISSIM

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5.2.3 Calibration of Microscopic Simulation Model

Calibration is a process of adjusting the model parameters, network and vehicle demand to reflect and represent observed data and/or observed site conditions to a

sufficient level to satisfy the model objectives. The calibration process is explained in the form of flow chart as shown in Fig. 8.

is explained in the form of flow chart as shown in Fig. 8. Fig. 8 Calibration

Fig. 8 Calibration Procedure Adopted in Development of Simulation Model

By giving the parameters listed in Fig. 8 as an input to simulation model, simulation runs were carried out in order to estimate the output. In this simulation model, the outputs obtained are volume, speed of vehicles and number of lane changes. Since the observed data on these parameters were collected in the field for validation of the developed simulation model. The comparison of estimated values with observed values is carried out and error is estimated. This iterative process of simulation model calibration was carried out through the modification of the various model parameters and simulation runs were performed till the error is within the satisfactory level.

5.2.4 Validation of Microscopic Simulation Model

Validation is the process of checking the developed simulation model in terms of predicted traffic performance for road system against field measurements of traffic performance such as traffic volumes, travel times, average speeds, and lane changes. In the present study, the calibration and validation process was carried out by trial and error method. After carrying out many trials, the prediction error in volume, speed and lane changes is

reduced to satisfactory level. The final validation results for volume speed and lane change criteria are estimated for Delhi to Hodal and Hodal to Delhi directions separately. Fig. 9 and 10 shows the validation results of traffic volume, speed and lane changes for Hodal to Delhi and Delhi to Hodal directions, respectively.

From the Fig. 9, it can be observed that the error in estimation of traffic volume is less than 10 per cent for different vehicle types except in the case of buses and bicycles on Hodal to Delhi direction whereas the overall error in the estimation of traffic volume is almost zero which represents the accuracy of the developed simulation model. The comparison of observed and estimated data of different vehicle speeds shows that the error in vehicular speeds is ranging from 2 per cent to 20 per cent for different vehicle types except in the case of trucks (due to large variation in observed speeds of trucks) which represents the developed simulation model is reasonably accurate. The simulated lane changes during each 5-minute time interval is also compared with the observed lane change data and it can be observed

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from Fig. 9 that the overall error in predicting number of lane changes made by different vehicle types is about 20 per cent in Hodal to Delhi direction which can also be regarded to be reasonably accurate in reflecting the real world conditions considering the traffic mix being simulated is heterogeneous in nature and resorting to random lane changes.

in nature and resorting to random lane changes. Fig. 9 Comparison of Observed and Estimated Traffic
in nature and resorting to random lane changes. Fig. 9 Comparison of Observed and Estimated Traffic
in nature and resorting to random lane changes. Fig. 9 Comparison of Observed and Estimated Traffic

Fig. 9

Comparison of Observed and Estimated Traffic Volume, Speed and Lane Changes (Hodal to Delhi Direction)

From Fig. 10, it can be seen that the error in estimation of traffic volume is less than 10 per cent for different vehicle types on Delhi to Hodal direction while the overall error is about 1 per cent implying the effectiveness of the calibrated model in replicating the ground conditions. At the same time, it can be seen that the error in speed prediction on Hodal to Delhi direction of NH-2 is found to be ranging between 1 - 19 per cent except in the case of cars and two wheelers which is about 30 per cent. The high error in cars and two wheelers may be attributed to the high influence of local conditions (such as median

to the high influence of local conditions (such as median Fig. 10 Comparison of Observed and
to the high influence of local conditions (such as median Fig. 10 Comparison of Observed and
to the high influence of local conditions (such as median Fig. 10 Comparison of Observed and

Fig. 10

Comparison of Observed and Estimated Traffic Volume, Speed and Lane Changes (Delhi to Hodal Direction)

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gap and roadside friction.) on Delhi to Hodal direction acting as a major impediment, which is causing significant reduction of observed speeds of cars and two wheelers as compared to other direction.

On the other hand, the predictive capability of the model in terms of lane changes in the case of different vehicle types like two wheeler, auto rickshaw, small car, big car and multi axle truck is less than 20 per cent error, whereas the overall lane change error is only about 2 per cent on Hodal to Delhi direction. From the above calibrated and validated results, it can be inferred that the developed simulation models are able to predict the vehicular movements (i.e. flow, speed and lane changes) with reasonable degree of accuracy under heterogeneous traffic conditions for four-lane divided carriageways. Based on the developed simulation models, the evolution of speed - flow relationships is attempted and using the same, the roadway capacity can be estimated.

5.2.5 Development of Speed - Flow Equations and Roadway Capacity through Simulation

Using the developed simulation model, the speed data for different vehicle is estimated for different traffic volume conditions for four-lane divided carriageway. The simulation runs are carried for following scenarios of traffic volumes for estimating capacity:

a) Observed Flow (ranging from 1000 to 1500 Vehicles/hr)

b) Flow of 2000 Vehicles/hr

c) Flow of 4000 Vehicles/hr

d) Flow of 6000 Vehicles/hr

e) Flow of 8000 Vehicles/hr

In the same way, the developed simulation model is applied to estimate speeds of the vehicle for different types of carriageway namely six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways. However, traffic flow up to 10000 vehicles/hr was considered for six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways. For this purpose, separate network has been created by introducing extra lanes so as to formulate six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageway scenarios. The lane restrictions are also considered for

these carriageways same as that of four-lane divided carriageways. However, the driving behaviour is kept same as four-lane divided carriageway for six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageway assuming that it will not drastically change in spite of increase in the number of lanes. These aspects would be further investigated by observing real data on these carriageways as the desired speed characteristics might be different on these carriageways compared to four-lane divided carriageways. This may be regarded as the limitation of the present model and it is worthwhile to study this aspect in future scope of the study. Considering the above flow conditions, the simulation runs are made to estimate speeds of different vehicles on four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways. The estimated speed data of the cars are plotted against given traffic flow with linear equations. The developed linear speed - flow equations speed-flow equations are having high goodness- of-fit as the R 2 values are more than 0.9 for all the carriageways, however, the intercept of the speed-flow equation, which is also considered as free speed of the vehicle is 99.96 km/hr, 97.0 km/hr and 96.35 km/hr, which is slightly decreasing as the number of lanes increases from four-lane to eight-lane divided carriageways respectively. Further, the capacity of these carriageways is calculated from these linear speed-flow equations by assuming the fact that capacity would be occurring at half of the free speed. Accordingly, half of the free speed is substituted in the speed-flow equation to estimate roadway capacity. From this exercise, the capacity is estimated as 5,553 PCU/hour/Dir, 9,700 PCU/hour/Dir and 14,160 PCU/hour/Dir for four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways, respectively. Though the fit of the speed-flow equation is very good, the estimated free speed and capacities are not realistic especially in the case of six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways. Free speeds are under predicted and capacities are over predicted as the slope of the equation line is very mild which shows insignificant impact of traffic volume on vehicle speeds. Since the linear method had produced unrealistic values of capacities and free speeds, non-linear method has been subsequently attempted. A non-linear equation has been formulated from the second order

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polynomial equation and the final form of the equation under non-linear form is as given below:

V = a 1 + (a 1 2 + a 2 * F) 0.5

where, V is speed in km/hr,

F is flow in PCU/hr/dir

(3)

a 1 , a 2 are parameters to be estimated

Using the estimated speed data of the cars and traffic flows from the different simulation runs, the equation shown in Eqn. (3) has been developed for four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways. A comparison of speed-flow equations evolved for cars through traditional and microscopic simulation approaches are given in Table 12. To demonstrate the validity of developed speed - flow equations through microscopic simulation model, the estimated free speed which is the intercept of the equations (at flow almost equal to 0 Vehicles/hr) are compared with the observed free speeds (refer Table 3, 4 and 5) and presented in Fig. 11. The above fig. illustrated the error ranges obtained from microscopic simulation model by comparing with the traditional model:

a) Four-lane: 0.3 to 10 per cent (which is 6 to 34 per cent in the case of traditional model)

b) Six-lane: 0.1 to 16 per cent (which is 3 to 31 per cent in case of traditional model)

c) Eight-lane: 2 to 18 percent (which is 3 to 21 per cent in case of traditional model)

From the above results, it can be concluded that developed speed - flow equations through simulation model has significantly reduced the prediction error in free speeds compared to traditional model except in the case of LCVs and MAVs on eight-lane divided carriageway. The occurrence of relative larger error for LCVs and MAVs can be examined by conducting traffic studies and calibrating the simulation model for eight-lane using

observed data on the field. From these results, it can be noted that the developed microscopic simulation model is able to predict the traffic phenomenon on multi-lane highways more realistically compared to traditional model. Thus the evolved roadway capacity through simulation approach can be adjudged to be realistic for the heterogeneous traffic conditions observed on multi-lane divided carriageways. Using this evolved speed - flow relationships, the roadway capacity is estimated as shown in Fig. 12.

From the Fig. 12, it can be observed that the speed-flow equations are having high goodness-of-fit as the R 2 values are about 0.77 for all the carriageways and from this it can be said that that the developed speed-flow equations can be used to predict the speed of cars for given flow conditions with reasonable degree of accuracy. Further, the capacities of the carriageways are calculated based on the non-linear speed-flow equations and from this exercise, the roadway capacity is estimated as 5574 PCU/hour/dir, 7733 PCU/hour/dir and 9796 PCU/hour/dir for four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways, respectively.

Based on the detailed analysis, it can be inferred that both traditional method and microscopic simulation method are estimating the comparable results in the case of four-lane and eight-lane divided carriageway, however traditional method is under predicting the capacity in case of six-lane divided carriageway. This can be attributed to the paucity of data used for model development in the case of six-lane carriageways, whereas in the case of microscopic simulation model, the speeds can be estimated just by substituting for any flow conditions and thus estimate the capacity thereafter. This is the biggest advantage of the simulation model over the traditional method. Hence, it can be concluded from this detailed evaluation, that the microscopic simulation model is able to predict the speeds and flow conditions and thereafter roadway capacities were estimated with good degree of statistical validity.

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Table 12

Comparison of Speed-Flow Equations of Cars for different Multi-lane Carriageways

S.

Carriageway

 

Traditional Method Uncongested

   

Congested

Microscopic Simulation Method (Non-linear)

No.

 
     

110.761

     

= 47.633+(2268.931-

1 Four-lane divided

y =

1

+

1.564*