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Journal of Highway and Transponation Research and Development Vol. 11, No.

2(2017)078

Control Parameters for the Ramp and Speed-change Lane of


Urban Expressways

MO Yang C��S) *
( CCDI (Suzhou) Exploration & Design Consultant CO. , Ltd. , Suzhou J1angsu 215123, China)

Abstract: Urban expressways can be built with various patterns , resulting in complex traffic conversions. In practice, imple­

menting identical design control parameters under different patterns or traffic conditions is unreasonable, and further analysis is
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therefore necessary to improve the flow of traffic. Control parameters, regardless of whether they are reasonable, affect the safety

and efficiency of urban expressways. Design speed and minimum curve radius are the control parameters of the ramp. Accelera­

tion/ deceleration lane length and width-transition length are the control parameters of the speed-change lane. The factors influ­

encing the control parameters of the ramp and the speed-change lane can be determined by analyzing the characteristics of the

entrance/exit. To elucidate the mechanism of effects of the design speed and the stopping sight distance on the minimum ramp

radius , the effects of traffic flow rate and ramp design speed on the length of the speed-change lane and the width-transition were

analyzed. Calculation models for the control parameters of the ramp and the speed-change lane were established based on kine­

matics theory, traffic flow theory, and probability theory. The following conclusions can be drawn from the analysis and calcula­

tion. The design speed of the ramp can be classified according to ramp patterns and the properties of urban roads connected by

ramps on both ends. The minimum curve radius of the structure pattern ramp that meets the requirement of the stopping sight

distance is greater than that determined by the side-way force coefficient. The calculated lengths for the two-lane acceleration

lane and the width-transition under traffic flow are greater than that demanded by the current specifications.

Key words: traffic engineering; control parameters; calculation model ; ramp; speed-change lane; lateral clear distance; head­

way time

trances/exits from a traffic operation perspective. These


1 Introduction
studies focused on the combined form and distance of en­
Aside from road capacity limit, entrances/exits are trances/exits to provide a useful reference for the design
the key factors influencing the operation state of urban of expressway entrances/ exits ; few studies have consid­
expressways ( net). Traffic jams usually occur at these ered the characteristics of entrances/exits, the character­
sites. ZHU [ lJ posited that 60% of design time should be istics of the ramp and speed-change lane, and the effect
allotted to the types and distances of expressway en­ of traffic flow. The technical parameters of the ramp and
trances/exits. ZHAN [2J generalized four types of factors the speed-change lane are dependent on the characteris­
affecting the installation of expressway entrances/exits ; tics of the entrances/exits, and the function of en­
in this study, a DEA/ AHP integrated model was applied trances/ exits is directly influenced by the appropriateness
to simulate the effects of different entrance/exit combina­ of these parameters. Unfitting parameters would im­
tions, the traffic organization mode, the traffic flow ratio mensely reduce traffic conversion efficiency, resulting in
between the main and auxiliary roads, and the distance chaotic traffic operation in main roads.
between the plane intersections. WANGE3 l analyzed the On the basis of the characteristics of expressway en­
interplay between bus stops and expressway entrances/ trances/exits, this study proposes a new entrance/exit
exits to establish the general criteria for installing bus classification according to function. Control parameters
stops near expressway entrances/exits. YANG [4J presen­ are deduced from the characteristics of the ramp and the
ted a method for calculating the minimum distance be­ speed-change lane. The influence of these characteristics
tween bus stops in expressways and expressway en- on the technical parameters of the ramp and the influence

Manuscript received May 29, 2016

•E-mail address: alex myoung@ 126. com

J. Highway Transp. Res. Dev. (English Ed.), 2017, 11(2): 78-90


M0 Yang, et al : Control Parameters for tlie Ramp and Speed-change Lane of Urban Expressways 79

of the traffic flow of the mam road on the speed-change right side of an expressway and 1s usually connected
lane were analyzed . by a ramp of interchange or an elevated or auxiliary
road [ s ] .
2 Characteristics of entrance/ exit and ramp
According to the system structure of an urban expre­
An urban expressway system comprises the express­ ssway and the definition of the entrance/exit, entrances/
way and the ordinary road . Such systems manifest two exits can be divided into two categories. The entrance/
cohesive relationships : the cohesion of expressways and exit that connects expressways is called a quick-to-quick
the cohesion between the expressway and the ordinary conversion entrance/exit, whereas the entrance/exit that
road . An urban expressway entrance/exit is defined as a connects an expressway and an ordinary road is called a
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one-way traffic entrance for vehicles to drive off or into quick-to-slow conversion entrance/exit. The characteris­
the expressway. The entrance/exit 1s installed at the tics of entrances/exits are listed in table 1.
Tab. 1 Characteristics of urban express entrances/ exits

Influence on traffic Connection part


Entrance/ exit type Traffic flow
Upstream Downstream Upstream Downstream

Quick to quick Entrance Ramp Acceleration lane


Continuity Expressway Expressway
conversion Exit Deceleration lane Ramp

Quick to slow Entrance Discontinuity Ordinary road Expressway Ramp Acceleration lane

Conversion Exit Continuity Expressway Ordinary road Deceleration lane Ramp

Different types of entrances/exits and their combina­ lationships between ramp characteristics and entrance/
tions determine the characteristics, types, and speed of exit patterns or combinations.
the ramp connecting entrances/exits. Table 2 lists the re-
Tab. 2 Relationships between ramp characteristics and entrance/ exit patterns or combinations

Entrance/exit type or their combination Traffic flow character Suitable ramp type Suitable ramp speed

Quick to quick conversion exit-->Quick to quick Direct ramp Intermediate speed-high speed
Continuity
conversion entrance Loop ramp Intermediate speed-low speed

Semi directional ramp Intermediate speed-high speed

Quick to slow conversion exit Continuity Viaduct parallel ramp Intermediate speed-low speed

Auxiliary ramp Intermediate speed-low speed

Continuity Semi directional ramp Intermediate speed-high speed

Quick to slow conversion entrance Viaduct parallel ramp Intermediate speed-low speed
Discontinuity
Auxiliary ramp Intermediate speed-low speed

ramp, which in tum determine the other parameters.


3 Control parameters of the ramp
The minimum curve radius of the ramp has generally
Ramp design speed must be considered to ensure been analyzed from the perspective of dynamic vehicle
driving safety on road sections with restricted align­ performance. To consider the safety and comfort when
ment [ 6 7l and to coordinate the driving speed for the vehicles drive on a curve [ JOJ , the safety requirements be­
main road at diversion or confluence points. The design tween front and rear vehicles in a fleet are guaranteed by
specifications for urban roads [ 8 9 l stipulate only the rela­ assessing the stopping sight distance. The construction
tive ratio between ramp design speed and main road patterns of urban expressway ramps include subgrade pat­
speed . Although the selectivity of ramp design speed has terns and structure patterns. The required sight distance
been expanded, the basis for selection in practice re­ for the horizontal curve of the subgrade pattern ramp can
mains unclear. Thus, an appropriate design speed must be achieved by removing the obstacles in the range of the
be selected based on the characteristics and types of the sight distance envelope [9 io] . The structure pattern ramp

J. Highway Transp. Res. Dev. (English Ed.), 2017, 11(2): 78-90


80 Journal of Highway and Transportation Research and Development

includes the tunnel pattern and the bridge pattern. A 60 to 65 km/h [io] . A running speed of 60 km/h is suit­
tunnel pattern ramp is sheltered by soil mass on both able for the ramp Mach to the main road .
sides, whereas a bridge pattern ramp has a concrete The lowest ramp design speed is determined by the
crash barrier on both sides to prevent vehicles from going conversion speed between the main road and the ramp as
outside [ s ] . Collision tests have shown that the contact well as by the convergence speed between the ramp and
point of a large vehicle from the road surface is 70 cm the ordinary road . The running speed at the linking plane
and the height of the crash barrier is usually 80 cm [io] . intersection of the quick-to-slow conversion ramp ranges
The height of the taillight of a small vehicle from the road from 20 km/h to 4 0 km/h [ 8 l . When main road design
surface should not exceed that of the crash barrier. When speed ranges from 60 km/h to 100 km/h, the minimum
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a vehicle travels on a curve at night with an excessively initial speed for acceleration and the minimum final safe
small structure pattern ramp radius, delayed responses speed for deceleration is 30 km/h [ioJ . A running speed
could occur if the driver in the rear vehicle cannot see of 30 km/h is suitable for the ramp Mach to the ordinary
the taillight of the front vehicle. For the structure pattern road .
curved ramp, the minimum radius obtained from lateral The design speed for a loop ramp should be lower
stability should fit the required stopping sight distance. because of the restricted alignment, whereas that for oth­
3. 1 Ramp design speed er ramps should be higher.
The suitable design speed of the quick-to-quick con­ The suitable design speed of ramp is listed in table 3.
version ramp should have a high driving speed for smooth Tab. 3 Recommended design speed of ramp ( unit: km/h)

traffic conversion. By contrast, the suitable design speed Main road design speed 100 80 60

of the quick-to-slow conversion ramp should be low be­ Quick to quick Direct ramp 40-60 40 -60 40-50

cause the driving speed is restricted by the ordinary road conversion Loop ramp 40 40 30 -40

connected to the ramp. The suitable design speed for the Semi directional ramp 40-60 40 -60 40-50
Quick to slow
ramp or the distributor lane should be 0. 4 to 0. 7 times Viaduct parallel ramp or
conversion 40 40 30 -40
that of the main road [ 8 91 . Thus, the selected ramp de­ auxiliary ramp

sign speed can range from 24 km/h to 70 km/h, which 3. 2 Minimum curve radius for the structure type
covers the span of low to high speeds. Selecting any ramp
speed within the allowable span would be inappropriate If the mimmum curve radius of the structure type
for a ramp with different characteristics, suggesting that ramp that is determined by the design speed satisfies the
the suitable span for the ramp design speed should be di­ required stopping sight distance, the sight line cannot be
vided . The highest design speed for an ordinary road is sheltered in a lateral clear distance. When the circle
60 km/h [ 8 91 . A quick-to-slow conversion ramp is usual­ length is larger than the stopping sight distance, the lat­
ly installed with a plane intersection, and the suitable eral clear distance is maximal in all combinations of the
design speed at the intersection should be 0. 5 to 0. 7 horizontal curve, as expressed in the following:
times that of the road section [ sJ . The highest design
speed at the intersection is 4 2 km/h. Thus, the ramp
a = [
R l - cos ( 2�) ] , (1)

design speed can be categorized into high and low speed where, a is the lateral clear distance, S is a stopping
sub-spans, with 4 0 km/h as the critical speed . sight distance, and R is the radius of vehicle traveling
The highest ramp design speed is determined by the track .
running speed of the main road and the ramp. When In the past, the radius of the vehicle traveling track
main road design speed ranges from 60 to 100 km/h, the is considered the same as the inner edge radius of the
minimum average speed of the stable traffic flow ranges road surface prior to widening, thereby adding
from 44 to 62 km/h [ s ] , the driving speed at the ramp 1. 5 m [ rn ] , which must be confirmed before any calcula­
end ranges from 4 0 to 55 km/h [ Jo ] , and the mm 1mum tion. However, this radius is not the same as the hori­
confluence speed for entering the main road ranges from zontal curve radius. A vehicle tends to occupy the center

J. Highway Transp. Res. Dev. (English Ed.), 2017, 11(2): 78-90


MO Yang, et al: Control Parameters for the Ramp and Speed-change Lane of Urban Expressways 81

part of a lane during travel. Thus, the radius of the lane safety and comfort demands of driving [ rnJ and the speci­
center curve before widening is regarded as the vehicle fied stopping sight distance191, ( S/2R) <I. By expan­
traveling track, indicating that the minimum radius of the ding the left-hand side of formula ( 3) into a power series
ramp in the following discussion is the radius of the lane and then omitting the fourth and higher power items, the
center curve before widening. equation can be simplified as :
( I ) Single-lane ramp I
R + __!__ 'R- _ [ 52 - 4(a2g • + a2 ) ] = 0. (4)
A single-lane structure pattern curved ramp is shown !OB'"' 4B CT

in figure 1, where R is the minimum radius of the lane Thus, the minimum curve radius of the single-lane
center curve before widening, S is the stopping sight dis­ structure pattern ramp can be deduced by formula (4 )
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tance, B is the lane width before widening, and bw is the as:


widening value for the lane. R-
- ( 20B) cy !OOB[ S2 - 4(ag2•
1 2 11
+
2
a,JJ + V2 - V
}2 ·

(5)
(2) Dual-lane ramp
A dual-lane structure pattern curved ramp is shown
in figure 2, where R is the minimum radius of the lane
\ center curve before widening, S is the stopping sight dis­
I
\ \ q, I
tance, B is lane width before widening ( m), and bw is
�� the widening value for the lane.
\ I
v
0

Fig. 1 Relationship between the minimum curve radius of


the single-lane structure pattern ramp and the stopping \ I
\Line of sight /
sight distance

The worst situation is when a vehicle occupies an \ \


i
I
emergency parking area, during which the maximum lat­ \ </> I
eral clear distance cannot exceed the sum of the half lane '\-;
\ f

J
width before widening and the widening value for the 0

lane, as expressed by : Fig. 2 Relationship between the minimum curve radius of

(2) the two-lane structure pattern ramp and the stopping


sight distance
When the formula above is equal to the minimum The worst situation occurs in the inner lane of
radius of the lane center curve, on the basis of the wide­ curve, at which the maximum lateral clear distance of the
ning value for the lane191 in formula (2) and by reorgan­ inner lane must still satisfy the conditions of formula
izing formula (1 ) , the following conclusion can be ob­ (2) . Thus, the minimum curve radius of the dual-lane
tained : structure pattern ramp can still be expressed by formula

R [ I - cos ( 2�)] =
2R
+
0. 05V
---
(;;
\I"
+
B
-

2
, (3)
(5).
The preceding analysis reveals that the circle radius
where, Vis the ramp design speed, age is the total length of the ramp is measured by the radius of the lane center
of the axle distance and front suspension of small or large curve, which is the radius of the driveway center curve
vehicle, and acr is the latter axle distance of an articula­ for the single-lane ramp. By contrast, the radius of the
ted vehicle. The meaning and unit of the other symbols inner driveway center curve is the radius for the dual­
are the same as those above. lane ramp. The minimum curve radii calculated by for­
According to the minimum radius that meets the mula ( 5) are listed in table 4. The design speed values

J. Highway Transp. Res. Dev. (English Ed.), 2017, 11(2): 78-90


82 Journal of Highway and Transportation Research and Development

are extracted from table 3. The lane width is 3. 5 m [ sJ . from the main road into the deceleration lane increases
The stopping sight distance used for large and small vehi­ the safety distance of the rear vehicle in the main road .
cles is a common specified value, whereas that for articu­ Thus, only the safety distance of shunt vehicles decelera­
lated vehicles is a truck-specified value [9l . ting to the ramp design speed should be considered in de­
Tab. 4 Calculated and recommended minimum curve termining the length of the deceleration lane. The mer­
radius (unit: m) of the structure pattern ramp that ging of a vehicle in the acceleration lane into the main
meets the demands of the stopping sight distance
road diminishes the safety distance of the rear vehicle in
Small vehicle
Design ------- ------- -------
Large vehicle Articulated vehicle the main road, indicating that the length of the accelera­
speed Recom- Recomm- Recomm- tion lane is influenced by both the minimum merging
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Calculated Calculated Calculated


(km/ h) mended ended ended
speed and the insertable interval of the main road .
60 313. 6 310 301. 9 310 450. 8 450 Previous studies that analyzed the width transition
50 229.5 230 217. 8 230 250.3 250 length of the speed-change lane considered single-lane
40 97.0 100 85.4 100 136.3 140 situations only [ rnJ . Therefore, their findings cannot be
30 52. 1 50 40. 5 50 52.4 55 directly applied to the dual-lane speed-change lane.
The calculated value for large vehicles is slightly 4. 1 Minimum composed length of acceleration lane

lower than that for small vehicles because the widening In the worst case under the impact of traffic quanti­
width for the lane of the former is larger than that of the ty, before reaching the required speed for merging into
latter. The minimum radius of the structure pattern ramp the main road [ rnJ , a vehicle cannot enter the main road
increases under various design speeds compared to that and must find the insertable interval at the required
calculated by the lateral force coefficient [ rnJ . For exam­ speed to merge into the target lane. Thus, the minimum
ple, a 2o/o super elevation is amplified to 25% - 50% at length of acceleration is :
a design speed of 40 km/h or lower and to more than (6)
100% at a design speed higher than 40 km/h. If the where, Lac is the minimum length of the acceleration
ramp has a structure pattern and the sight line can easily lane, La is the traveling length for merging vehicle accel­
be sheltered, the minimum circle radius should be com­ erating to the merging speed from the ramp end, and Lc
pared with the demand of the stopping sight distance and is the average traveling length of the merging vehicle be­
controlled by both the lateral force coefficient and the fore finding the insertable interval.
stopping sight distance when conditions permit. For the measurement of La , see references [ 5J and
[ 10] , L, is measured as follows.
4
( I) Single-lane acceleration lane
Control parameters of speed-change lane

In the past, the length of the speed-change lane was In figure 3, Vr is the design speed of the single-lane
analyzed mainly from the perspective of vehicle dynamic ramp ; and Q 2 and V2 are the traffic quantity and operat­
performance to consider the safety for diversion or the ing speed of the target lane, respectively. A vehicle can
confluence of traffic. However, the influence of traffic merge only when the headway time is larger than critical
quantity was ignored . The diversion of the front vehicle headway time T.

= LJj = �Si = ...........


Ll2 LTI [-_-_-_T_� =:::::J =
-------------� Q,.Vx --- � L____Ll Target lane LLl � ---- -------- , _____;::_j

(Jk::::O::JL-
CTI �=- _::cl-:;;._::�:: �:::::�-----""'""
� Aocelem.ti " lane
_:::::::::_:::::����2!!
:::!
L, - I
_

Lo
2 ,-<( "'""�--"--�
:'f

Lw
_,./
_

' "" >I


Fig. 3 l\finimum composed length of the single-lane acceleration lane

J. Highway Transp. Res. Dev. (English Ed.), 2017, 11(2): 78-90


MO Yang, et al: Control Parameters for the Ramp and Speed-change Lane of Urban Expressways 83

If t is the headway time of the target lane and obeys


L c = V c (tf(t)dt. ( 10)
an exponential distribution, its probability density func­ Jo
By substituting formula (7) into formula ( 10) aod
tion is :
drawing load degree Sr=Qz/C, where C is the road ca­
t > 0
(7) pacity of the target laoe, the length L, of the single-lane
others
acceleration lane can be expressed as :
The average value of the headway time less than the
v.
critical headway time hr is : l, =CS, [! - (! +CS,T) e (!!)

h, = (tf(t) dt. (8) (2) Dual-laoe acceleration lane


Jo
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In figure 4, V, is the design speed of the dual-lane


During the acceleration process to the merging speed
ramp ; and Q 2 and V2 are the traffic quantity and operat­
Ve , if the headway time of two adjacent vehicles in the
ing speed of the target lane, respectively. The first step
target lane is enough, a shunt vehicle can merge at any
of merging into the target lane for a vehicle in the outer
site in the span of La. The worst case occurs after trave­
acceleration lane is to merge into the inner acceleration
ling length La, when the shunt vehicle has a chance to
lane, followed by merging into the target lane. There­
merge at a site in the span of Le . The longest latency
fore, the minimum length of the acceleration lane is :
time before an insertable interval can be found is T. The
average latency time is hr. Thus, the average traveling (12)
length Le for the shunt vehicle merging in the target lane is : The length of the second step L; can be derived by
Le = Ve •
hr' (9) formula ( 11) , while the length of the first step Lm can be
which can be transformed into : obtained as follows.

Fig. 4 l\finimum composed length of the two-lane acceleration lane


For convenience, a shunt vehicle will swarm into v.
L, = [
the inner acceleration lane to merge into the target lane. CS, I
The worst case occurs when the shunt vehicle in the outer (14)
acceleration lane must accelerate to the merging speed in For more details on parameters tm and Ve in formulas
order to merge into the inner acceleration lane. The min­ ( 11) aod ( 14) , see references [ 2J aod [ 10J , respec­
imum length for merging in the inner acceleration lane tively. The other parameters are calculated as follows.
IS: 4. 2 Critical headway time

The critical headway time for a vehicle to merge into


( 13)
the target lane is :
where, Lm is the minimum length for the shunt vehicle to T =t1+tb+2t,+2t" (!5)
merge into the inner acceleration lane in the worst case, where, tf is the safety headway time between the shunt
Ve is the merging speed, r' is the critical headway time vehicle and the front vehicle in the target lane, tb is the
for merging in the inner acceleration lane, and tm is time safety headway time between the shunt vehicle and the
to transverse across the width of one lane. rear vehicle in the target lane, tv=Lv/V2 is the time nee­
The length Le of the dual-lane acceleration lane can ded by the rear vehicle in the target lane to travel through
be expressed as: the length of the shunt vehicle at a speed V, (s), and L.

J. Highway Transp. Res. Dev. (English Ed.), 2017, 11(2): 78-90


84 Journal of Highway and Transportation Research and Development

is the length of the shunt vehicle. t, = L/V, is the time ging into the target lane when V, > V, . The safety head­
needed by the rear vehicle in the target lane to travel way time between the shunt vehicle and the front vehicle
through the safety distance between the shunt vehicle and in the target lane is :
the front or rear vehicle in the target lane after the shunt ,, = 'd + t,, ( 16)
vehicle stops at a speed V2 , and Ls is the minimum safety where, tci = I V,2 - V, 2 l/(2ad VJ is time taken by the
distance between the shunt vehicle and the front or rear rear vehicle in the target lane to travel through the length
vehicle. wherein the shunt vehicle decelerates from Ve to V2, ad is
The safety headway time between the shunt vehicle the deceleration of the shunt vehicle, and tr is the reac­
and the front or rear vehicle in the target lane is influ­ tion time before the shunt vehicle brakes relative to the
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enced by the location of the target lane in which the front vehicle in the target lane.
shunt vehicle merges. The safety headway time of the The safety headway time between the shunt vehicle
single-lane acceleration lane is analyzed as follows. and the rear vehicle in the target lane equals the reaction
( 1 ) Situation of V, > V, time before the rear vehicle in the target lane brakes rela­
Figure 5 shows the location the shunt vehicle mer- tive to the shunt vehicle.

LlJ LB LB LTI = ci;o


LB CTI L__Ll IT-' n;;
P � �:::::t� Target line �
[-_-_-_-_;]
----------

= L:::B Acceleration lane

Fig. 5 Location of the vehicle joining into the target lane if Ve > Vz

(2) Situation of Ve � V2 tween the shunt vehicle and the rear vehicle in the target
Figure 6 shows the location of the shunt vehicle joining lane is equal to the reaction time before the rear vehicle in
the target lane when V, "'V,. The safety headway time be- the target lane brakes relative to the shunt vehicle.

1 c1 c1 I = =
= = = = =
�T-tl.am:r···�
Aeceleration lane "' --+----n;;--"-,
2
I:
Fig. 6 Location of the vehicle joining into the target lane if Ve:::;:; Vz

The safety headway time between the shunt vehicle I V, 2 - v.2 I


] + >

l:·:
+ 2L, + 2L . 2t,, V, V,
and the rear vehicle in the target lane is : 2ad

where, t, = I v; - v; I I(2a, V.) is time taken by the


(17)
' 0 V,
I V, 2 - v.2 I
2a,
+ 2L "
+ 2L. ] + 2t,, V, "' V,

rear vehicle in the target lane to travel through the length


( 1 8)
that the shunt vehicle accelerates from Ve to V2, aa is the
The critical headway time for the vehicle merging in
acceleration of the shunt vehicle, and tr is the reaction
the inner acceleration lane can be measured by a similar
time before the rear vehicle in the target lane brakes rela­
method . The speed difference in the merging process can
tive to the shunt vehicle.
be ignored because the accelerating behavior is balanced
Combining formulas ( 15) - ( 17) yields :

J. Highway Transp. Res. Dev. (English Ed.), 2017, 11(2): 78-90


M0 Yang, et al : Control Parameters for tlie Ramp and Speed �change Lane of Urban Expressways 85

in the acceleration lanes. Thus, The solution of the operating speed V, of the target

7
1
= ----
(2 Lv 2LJ
Ve
- +
+ 2t,. (19)
lane in free traffic flow status by formula ( 22) i s :
2C
vz = [(( 1 + /f--=-s) · (23)
For the derivation of parameters 7 and 7
1
in formulas J

( 18) and ( 19), refer to the relevant references. Vz is Parameter C uses the recommended value in refer-
measured as follows. ence [ 8J , KJ is measured as follows.
4. 3 Operating speed of the target lane 4. 4 Jam density
The operating speed of the target lane is influenced Given that the jam density refers to the maximum
by the traffic quantity of the main road . A merging vehi­ number of vehicles in the unit length when vehicles are
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cle stops in the target lane because the disruption of vehi­ in stationary status, the value of jam density typically
cle diversion is less in the inner main lane. Thus, vehi­ ranges from 115 veh/km to 155 veh/km. However, in
cles in the main road will swarm into the inner lane to practice
. , traff'ic fl ow is . th'is status [ lll . A traff'ic
. rare1y m
maintain smooth speed and freedom of travel in the length flow that is beginning to jam is different from a complete­
of the acceleration lane. If the traffic quantity of the in­ ly jammed status. During the transition from the onset of
ner lane reaches its capacity, then vehicles must occupy a jam to a completely jammed status, the interval of vehi­
the target lane. cles decreases gradually. A completely jammed status
The relationship between traffic flow speed and traf­ denotes a stationary status, and traffic flow (in the com­
fic quantity can be quantitatively expressed by various mon sense) does not exist. Thus, jam density is hence­
models. Each model has its unique characteristics and forth defined as the density of traffic flow status at which
applies to different traffic flow statuses. A real traffic flow vehicles can smoothly move at very low speeds, such that
has an affirmatory free running speed, an optimum other vehicles cannot insert themselves into adjacent ve­
speed, and a jam density. The Greenberg model can be
hicles in the fleet and small turbulences will cause the
applied to blocking traffic flow without free running
fleet to stop. In this way, jam density can be measured
speed . The Underwood model is applicable to free traffic
by traffic flow density in the status of starting to jam as:
flow with an infinite jam density. The Edie model uses a
1 000
K (24)
piecewise continuous function to overcome the aforemen­ +
=
J
Lv Lg'
tioned disadvantages, but its theoretical optimum speed where, Lv is length of one vehicle, and Lg is the average
is substantially different from the actual survey value. interval of adjacent vehicles in jam density.
The following discussion is limited to free traffic flow, The critical density when traffic flow starts to jam is
and the relationship between the operating speed of the affected by the operating speed . The average interval of
target lane and its traffic quantity is supposed to obey the adjacent vehicles while decelerating from high speed to
Greenshields model ( 111 , that is :
the speed at which traffic jam starts is equal to the length
Q, = K
i (Vz - �1 ),
v2
(20) of one vehicle, i. e. , Lg = Lv = 6 m [ s ] . The minimum
value of jam density KJ is 83 veh/km. The average inter­
where, vf is the free runmng speed, and Kj is the jam
val of adjacent vehicles while decelerating from low speed
density.
to the speed at which traffic jam starts is equal to the
The capacity C of the target lane by the Green­
safety distance at which the vehicle completely stops,
shields model is :
i. . e. , th e stoppmg
. sig
. h t d'istance Lg = 5 m csJ . The maxi-
.
1
C -V1 K. (21) mum value of jam density KJ is 91 veh/km.
= •

4
J

By combining formulas ( 20) and ( 21 ), and then Given the influence of the initial operating speed,
canceling V1 and drawing the load degree S, = Q/C, the Jam density takes the minimum value at high design
equation can be reorganized as : speeds, the maximum value at low design speeds, and
C 4C 2 S the middle value obtained by linear interpolation at medi­
Vz2 - 4 Vz + 0. (22)
K K2 '
=

J J
um design speeds.

J. Highway Transp. Res. Dev. (English Ed.), 2017, 11(2): 78-90


86 Journal of Highway and Transportation Research and Development

4. 5 Average traveling length Le Tab. 6 L, -Average calculated traveling length (unit: m) of

As suggested in the references, the values of the pa­ vehicle before finding an interval to join in the
target lane
rameters are taken as t m
= 3. 75 s [ 2J '
L v
= 6 m [ sJ '
a a =

0 36 m/s2
• '
a
d
= 2 4 m/s2 [ioJ
· '
L s
= 2 m [ ll ] '
and t r =
Design speed of main road ( km/h)
Load degree of
1. 0 s(11 12 l . By substituting these values into formulas target lane
100 80 60

( 11) , (14) , (18) , and (19) , the following equations S, Single· Dual- Single- Dual- Single· Dual·

J S[
lane lane lane lane lane lane
are obtained :
0. 1 108 227 51 167 3 114
v
1 - (1 + CSrT) e single - lane

i �:[ !
cs,< ] 0.2 105 225 59 176 6 117
C
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= 0.3 87 207 55 171 9 121

I, - (I + CS,r)e �,] +V.(T' +3. 75) dufil - lane 0.4 71 191 47 163 12 124

( [O.
0. 5 59 179 37 153 16 128
(25) 0.6 49 169 25 142 20 131

1
>
0.7 41 161 14 131 23 135

_!_[
211 V,2 - Ve2 I +16 J +2 Ve V,
V, 0. 8 31 151 18 135 27 139
T = (26)
0.9 23 143 23 139 31 142
1. 39 I V,2 - Ve2 I +16 J +2 Ve � V,
V,

T ,
=
16
v c
+2. (27) h. = r t/( t) dt. (29)

The load degree Sr 0 shows no vehicle in the target


= By substituting formula ( 7) in formula ( 29) and
lane, at which no limit is set for the headway time to expressing traffic quantity Q, in terms of C and Sr, for­
merge in. Thus, to use formula ( 25) , Sr > 0. mula ( 29) becomes :
By substituting the expression of jam density K J into 1
ha = (30)
formula ( 23) , the operating speed can be obtained as cs;
The value of the critical and average headway times
V, (0. 024 - 0. 022)C(l +jl-5,). (28)
=
of the target lane are listed in table 7.
This formula shows that the operating speed of the Tab.7 Calculated values of critical and average headway time

target lane is related only to the capacity and the load de­ Load degree of Design speed of main road (km/h)

gree of the target lane in free traffic flow status. The values target 100 80 60
lane S,
of capacity C and merging speed Ve are listed in table 5. T ( s) h,(s) T ( s) h,(s) T ( s) h,(s)

Tab. 5 Capacity of the target lane and the required 0. 1 21.3 18.0 13. 5 20.6 3.0 25.7
speed for joining into the target lane 0.2 19.8 9.0 12. 1 10.3 3.2 12.9

Design speed of main road (km/h) 100 80 60 0.3 18.2 6.0 10.6 6.9 3.4 8.6

Capacity C (pculh) [SJ


0.4 16.4 4.5 8.9 5.1 3.7 6.4
2 000 1 750 1 400

Merging speed Ve (km/h) [ 10 l


0.5 14.4 3. 6 7.1 4.1 4.0 5.1
65 63 60
0.6 12.2 3.0 4.9 3.4 4.4 4.3
As for the load degree Sr of the target lane, the aver­ 0.7 9.5 2.6 3.0 2.9 4.8 3.7
age traveling length of the shunt vehicle from the ramp as 0.8 6.2 2.3 3.6 2.6 5.4 3.2

calculated by formulas (25) - (28) is listed in table 6. 0.9 4.3 2.0 4.4 2.3 6.2 2.9

As the load degree increases, the variation of the If the load degree of the target lane is low, then the
average traveling length Le declines at high design average headway time is large and approximates or ex­
speed s ; increases at low design speed s ; and initially de­ ceeds the critical headway time. This case provides many
creases, then increases, and reaches an inflection point opportunities for merging into the target lane because ve­
at medium design speeds. hicles will swarm into the inner lane or decelerate when
4. 6 Minimum length of the acceleration lane passing the confluence area. The average traveling length
The average headway time ha of the target lane is : Le can meet the demand of merging even if it is less than

J. Highway Transp. Res. Dev. (English Ed.), 2017, 11(2): 78-90


M0 Yang, et al : Control Parameters for tlie Ramp and Speed-change Lane of Urban Expressways 87

the calculated value. The average headway time decrea­ control length of the single-lane acceleration lane is
ses with the increase in the load degree of the target slightly larger, whereas that of the dual-lane acceleration
lane. The variation of the critical headway time is influ­ lane is obviously larger than the value recommended by
enced by the mode of merging, which decreases when the the current specifications when the influence of the traffic
load degree increases when accelerating to merge in and quantity of the main road is considered .
increases when the load degree decreases when decelera­ The calculated values in table 9 demonstrate that the
ting to merge in. If the load degree of the target lane is ramp design speed significantly influences the length of
high, then the average headway time is small. This sce­ the acceleration lane. An overlong length of the accelera­
nario offers few chances for merging into the target lane. tion lane will mislead the driver and is therefore unsafe.
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The average traveling length Lc may fail to meet the de­ The ramp design speed should match the main road de­
mand of merging in, even if it reaches the calculated val- sign speed . A combination of a high main road design
ue. speed and a low ramp design speed should be assumed to
In view of the efficiency of the facility usage, the avoid unnecessary extensions of the acceleration lane.
statuses of completely free traffic flow and saturated traf­ 4. 7 Minimum length of width transition
fic flow need not be controlled . The status of stable traf­ The width transition length of the acceleration lane
fic flow is expected to be kept efficiently. Thus, the mainly considers the required safety length of the vehicle
boundary load degree between free traffic flow and stable changing its lane. The width transition length as meas­
traffic flow is selected to calculate the control average ured by AASHO [ioJ 1 s :
traveling length Lc . The results are listed in table 8. 1
Tab. 8
Vt
L e -Recommended control average traveling length T J
max 3. 6 . 1 (3 1)
t;=w""'"(....,.,4 -=w=)-
=

( unit : m) for the vehicle before finding an interval to


R=--
-
join into the target lane
where, T is the length of the width transition, V is the
Load degree Design speed of main road ( km/h) .
average operating speed, W is the vehicle transverse
(
boundary of 100 80 60
target lane Single- Dual- Single- Dual- Single- Dual- width, t1 is the time of changing lane, R = V 2I [ 1 27 i +
.
S, [sJ lane lane lane lane lane lane f) J is the radius of the reverse curve, i is the super ele­
0.3 10 120 vation, and f is the lateral force coefficient.
The values of V , i, and f are taken from reference
0.34 50 170
0.4 70 190 .
[ 10 J , W, which is the total width of the lane and the
By substituting the values of L. [ rn ] and Lc into for­
(
mula 6 ), the control minimum length of acceleration
traffic marking, is set to 4. 0 m for the single-lane and
7. 5 m for the dual-lane if the width of one lane is 3. 5 m
without width transition length is obtained and listed in
and t1 is 1 mls [ z ] . The results are listed in table 10.
table 9.
Tab. 1 0 T-Calculated values o f width transition
Tab. 9 L,c-Recommended control minimum
length ( unit: m) by AASHO method
length ( unit : m) of acceleration lane
Design speed of
100 80 60
Design speed of main road (km/h)
Design speed of main road Single- Dual- Single- Dual- Single- Dual-
100 80 60
(km/h) lane lane lane lane lane lane
ramp/

84
Single- Dual- Single- Dual- Single- Dual-
(km/h) ( v.ii)/3.6 158 74 139 63 119
lane lane lane lane lane lane
./W( 4R-W) 67 92 59 80 50 69
30 160 270
40 240 360 200 320 130 240 Compared with the specified values m reference
50 185 305 140 260 70 180 [ 5] , the calculated values for the single-lane are slightly
60 85 205 50 170 larger, while those for the dual-lane are nearly doubled.
Compared with the case in reference [ 5 J , when the The value of the dual-lane is unspecified in the current
ramp design speed ranges from 4 0 km/h to 50 km/h, the code. Only the deceleration situation is analyzed in

J. Highway Transp. Res. Dev. (English Ed.), 2017, 11(2): 78-90


88 Journal of Highway and Transportation Research and Development

AASHO. In the deceleration situation, vehicles need not uously moving laterally for merging in is :
continuously move in the width of the two lanes to enter 7d = f1 + 2t, + 2tv +2t,, (32)
the outer lane of the dual-lane deceleration lane ; they the meaning and unit of the signals in formula ( 32) are
can first enter into the inner lane and then into the outer the same as those mentioned above. By substituting the
lane, thereby not requiring an additional length for de­ relevant values and simplifying the equation, the follow­
celeration. A slight deviation to the use the value of the ing is obtained :

,
single-lane exists. In the acceleration situation, vehicles 16
moving laterally across one lane

l-+5.5,
must continuously move in the width of the two lanes if V,
7d =
they cannot find an insertable interval up to the end of 16
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- +9. moving laterally across two lanes

5
the outer lane of the dual-lane acceleration lane. There­ V,
fore, the value of the single-lane cannot be used as the (33)
width transition length. Probability P for meeting the demand of directly
The possibility of a vehicle directly merging into the merging into the main road is :
main road from the outer lane of the dual-lane accelera­
p = r CS, e CS,.tdt. (34)
tion lane is influenced by the traffic flow status of the tar­ J,d
get lane. A larger average headway time for the target Substituting formula ( 33) into Formula ( 34) and
simplifying the formula yields:
r cs,( �+5
lane and more insertable intervals are present in a com­
pletely free traffic flow status. Vehicles continuously s ), moving laterally across one lane
p =
moving laterally to merge into the target lane rarely ap­ e cs,( {;¥-+9 s ),
' moving laterally across two lanes
pear. The average headway time of the target lane and (35)
the insertable interval will decrease as the traffic quantity By combining formulas ( 28) and (35), v., 7d,

gradually increases. In tum, the possibility of a vehicle


and P are calculated under various load degrees, and the
continuously moving laterally to merge is also increased .
results are listed in tables 11 and 12.
In the stable traffic flow status, the operating speed and Tab.11 Calculated values of V, , and P if joining
Td ,

average headway time of the target lane are balanced, into the target lane across one lane
and the number of insertable intervals is steady. A cer­
Design speed of main road (km/h)
tain probability exists that a vehicle will continuously Load
100 80 60
move laterally to merge in. In the saturated traffic flow degree
V,
S, p
v,
p
v,
status, the headway time of the target lane has a small Td (S) Td (s) Td (s) p
(mis) (mis) (mis)
average and few insertable intervals are available. Conse­
0. 1 26.0 6.1 0.71 21. 8 6.2 0.74 16.7 6.5 0.78
quently, the requirements for a vehicle to continuously
0.2 25.3 6.1 0.51 21.2 6.3 0. 54 16.2 6.5 0.60
move laterally for merging in are difficult to achieve. The 0.3 24.5 6.2 0. 36 20.5 6.3 0.40 15.7 6.5 0.47
merging speed should be close to the operating speed of 0.4 23.7 6.2 0.25 19.8 6.3 0.29 15.2 6.6 0.36
the target lane when a vehicle continuously moves lateral­ 0. 5 22.8 6.2 0. 18 19.1 6.3 0.21 14.6 6.6 0.28
ly to merge in. The operating speed of the target lane is 0.6 21.8 6.2 0. 13 18.3 6.4 0. 16 14.0 6.6 0. 21

determined by the headway time needed by the vehicle to 0.7 20.6 6.3 0.09 17.3 6.4 0. 11 13.2 6.7 0. 16

continuously move laterally for merging in. The traveling 0. 8 19.3 6.3 0.06 16.2 6.5 0.08 12.4 6.8 0. 12

length of the vehicle continuously moving laterally is then 0.9 17.5 6.4 0. 04 14.7 6.6 0.06 11.3 6.9 0.09

considered as the control length of width transition. Probability P refers to the proportion of headway
For the outer lane of the dual-lane acceleration time that meets the demand of directly moving laterally
lane, vehicles moving laterally for directly merging in for merging into the target lane under all possible head­
suggest that if no disturbances appear when crossing the way times. For the single-lane, the probability of vehicle
inner lane, then the effect of the inner lane can be omit­ merging into target lane before arriving at the front edge
ted . The minimum headway timerd of the vehicle contin- of width transition is equal to the probability P ' of the

J. Highway Transp. Res. Dev. (English Ed.), 2017, 11(2): 78-90


M0 Yang, et al : Control Parameters for tlie Ramp and Speed-change Lane of Urban Expressways 89

Tab.12 Calculated values of V, , Td , and P if joining Tab.14 Upstream traffic flow quantity ( unit: pcu/h) and load

into the target lane across two lanes degree of the main road if the joining traffic flow quantity

reaches the traffic capacity of the ramp


Design speed of main road (km/h)
Load
100 80 60 Design speed cl 100 80 60
degree

S,
main road Traffic of Load Traffic of Load Traffic of Load
V,
p
V,
p p
V,1
Td (s) Td (s) Td (s)
(km/h) main road degree main road degree main road degree
(mis) (mis) (mis)

0. 1 26.0 10. 1 0. 57 21. 8 10.2 0.61 16.7 10. 5 0.67 2 2 600 0.59 2 200 0.52 1 700 0.47
lane number cl
0.2 25.3 10. 1 0.32 21.2 10.3 0.37 16.2 10. 5 0.44 main road 3 4 600 0.70 3 950 0.63 3 100 0.57
upstream
4 6 600 0.75 5 700 0.68 4 500 0.63
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0.3 24.5 10.2 0. 18 20.5 10.3 0.22 15.7 10. 5 0.29

0.4 23.7 10.2 0.10 19.8 10.3 0.13 15.2 10.6 0. 19 The load degree values in table 14 show that the up­
0. 5 22.8 10.2 0.06 19.1 10.3 0.08 14.6 10.6 0. 13 stream of the main road is generally at the service level of
0.6 21. 8 10.2 0.03 18.3 10.4 0.05 14.0 10.6 0.08 the stable traffic flow [ s ] and that it contains slight mar­
0.7 20.6 10.3 0.02 17.3 10.4 0.03 13.2 10.7 0.05 gins. The probability of vehicles merging into the main
0.8 19.3 10.3 0.01 16.2 10. 5 0.02 12.4 10. 8 0.03 road at some site of the single-lane acceleration lane can
0.9 17.5 10.4 0.01 14.7 10.6 0.01 1L 3 10.9 0.02 be measured under this status. The results are listed in
table 15 .
headway time being not less than rd in the length of the
P'
Tab. 15 Probability of joining into the target lane from the
acceleration lane. can be expressed as:
single-lane acceleration lane
P' - e
_ cs, ( f?- +s. s ),
' (36) Design speed of main road (km/h) 100 80 60
the value of P ' is based on the main road design speed Probability of merging in target lane from single-lane

acceleration lane P'


0.40 0. 52 0.66
and the load degree of the target lane in table 11.

The load degree of the target lane should be at a low For a single-lane acceleration lane, vehicles have a
level when the main road is in an overall stable traffic one-half chance of merging into the target lane before ar­
flow status. In this way, the main road can contain the riving at the width transition. Thus, the probability of a
traffic quantity merging in from the ramp. According to vehicle merging in the target lane from the width transi­
suitable ramp design speed, the value of the load degree tion is set to 0. 50. For the dual-lane acceleration lane,
is approximately 0. 8 in a continuously stable traffic flow vehicles have a one-half chance to merge into the target
status, with a capacity of 1 300 pcu/h to 1 400 pcu/ lane after the vehicle diverts into the inner lane from the
h [ 8 l . The maximum traffic quantity of the target lane can outer lane in the length of acceleration lane ; vehicles al­
be determined by the design speed and the maximum so have a one-half chance in the length of the single-lane
load degree of the main road . Table 13 lists the allowable width transition. Therefore, only a small probability ex­
maximum upstream traffic quantity of the target lane that ists that vehicles merge into the target lane by continu­
ensures that vehicles can continuously and stably merge ously moving laterally across two lanes. Thus, the proba­
into the main road when the traffic quantity of the ramp bility can be taken as 0. 01 to 0. 02.
reaches its capacity. The length T of width transition measured by the
Tab. 13 Allowable maximum upstream traffic flow quantity of the merging speed corresponding to the probability of the in­
target lane if the traffic flow quantity reaches the traffic sertable interval is :
capacity of the ramp T = V ._ • t1, (3 7)
Design speed of main road (km/h) 100 80 60 where, v"' is the merging speed corresponding to the
Allowable maximum upstream traffic quantity of target probability a of the insertable interval and is equal to the
600 450 300
lane (pculh)
average operating speed of the target lane when the prob­
The inner lanes of the main road can be considered ability is a ; t1 is the time taken by the shunt vehicle to
the lower limit of stable traffic flow in line with the travel move laterally in the target lane ( s) ; and a is the proba­
characteristic listed in table 14. bility of the insertable interval, which is 0. 50 for the sin-

J. Highway Transp. Res. Dev. (English Ed.), 2017, 11(2): 78-90


90 Journal of Highway and Transportation Research and Development

gle-lane and 0. 01 to 0. 02 for the dual-lane. termined based on theoretical derivation, data calcula­
The values calculated by formula ( 3 7) are listed in tion, and comparative analysis.
table 16. The analysis methods and calculation models in this
Tab. 16 T-Calculated values of width transition thesis expands the current knowledge and develops the
length ( unit: m) of the acceleration lane design theory for the ramps and speed-change lanes of
according to probability method
expressways.
Design speed of main road (km/h)
'"'-
--' -'-- -'- ­
Probability of -"-
---- - ---- - - --
-

100 80 60 References
insertable
Single- Dual- Single- Dual- Single- Dual-
interval a [1 J ZHU Sheng-yue . Study on Establishment at the Exit and
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lane lane lane lane lane lane

� o. 50
Entrance of Urban Expressway [ J J . Journal of Urban
a 88 74 55
Transport of China, 2004, 4 ( 2 ) : 59 - 63 .
131 110 85 [2J ZHAN Lin-xia. Study on Factors affecting the Access of

Urban Expressway [ D J . Beijing : Beijing University of


A comparison of the results of the probabilistic Technology, 2008.
method with those of AASHO method reveals that the val­ [3J WANG Yang. Study on the Relationship between the Ac­

ues for the single-lane acceleration lane are very close cess of Urban Expressway and Bus Station based on Micro­

and that the values for the dual-lane acceleration lane are Simulation [ D J . Beijing : Beijing University of Technol­

considerably larger than those of the single-lane accelera­ ogy, 2010.

[4J YANG Xiao-guang, XU Jian, ZHU Tong. Minimum


tion lane. Therefore, the recommended minimum control
Spacing between Bus Station and Entrance/Exit on Urban
length of width transition values is listed in table 17.
Expressway [ J ] . Journal of Transportation Information and
Tab.17 T-Recommended minimum control
Safety , 2010 , 28 ( 2) : 1 - 7 , 27.
length ( unit: m) of width transition
[5J CJJ129-2009, Specification for Design of Urban Express­
Design speed of main road (km/h)
Type of speed-change lane way [ S J .
100 80 60
[ 6J JTG BOl -2014, Technical Standard of Highway Engi-
Single-lane
Deceleration lane 85 75 60 neering [ S J .
Dual-lane
[7 J JTG D20-2006, Design Specification for Highway Align­
Single-lane 90 75 55
Acceleration lane ment [ S J .
Dual-lane 130 110 85
[8J CJJ37-2012, Code for Design of Urban Road Engineering

[ sJ .
5 Conclusions
[9J CJJ193-2012, Code for Design of Urban Road Alignment

The characteristics of the entrances/exits and ramps [ sJ .

[ 10 J HUANG Xing-an. Manual for Design of Highway and Ur­


of expressways were analyzed to elucidate the influence of
ban Road [ M J . Beijing: China Architecture & Building
controlling factors on the ramp and speed-change lane of
Press , 2005 .
expressways. Calculation models for the control parame­
[ 11 J DAI Ji-feng, MA jian-xiao. Generality of Traffic Engineer­
ters of the ramp and the speed-change lane were estab­
ing [ M J . Beijing: China Communications Press, 2006.
lished based on kinematics principles, traffic flow theo­ [ 12 J LD Ji-er, ZHU Liu-hua, ZHENG Rong-sen, et al.
ries, and probability knowledge theory. Recommended Effects of Driver's Reaction Time on Safe Driving [ J J .
values for the control parameters of the ramp and the Journal of Transportation Systems Engineering and Informa­

speed-change lane were proposed ; these values were de- tion Technology, 2014, 14 ( 2 ) : 80 - 86.

J. Highway Transp. Res. Dev. (English Ed.), 2017, 11(2): 78-90