Analysis of saturation flow rate at tandem intersections using field data

Analysis of saturation flow rate at tandem intersections using field data

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A tandem intersection is an unconventional intersection design that possesses the important property of increasing the traffic capacity using pre-signals and sorting areas. However, the operational efficiency of the lanes in the sorting areas may be affected by driver unfamiliarity and confusion. This study evaluates the effect of the tandem control on the saturation flow rate using field data. Statistical analyses were conducted to identify the difference in the saturation flow rate of the approach lanes when the tandem control was open and closed. A saturation flow rate adjustment model for tandem control was established in accordance with three factors: unequal distribution of traffic, red light violations at the pre-signal, and incomplete discharge of vehicles at the sorting area. The results indicate that the tandem control decreases the saturation flow rate of the approach lanes in the sorting area. Most of the observed reductions are caused by the first factor, i.e. the unequal distribution of traffic. The other two factors, red light violations and incomplete discharge, can be controlled by using appropriate traffic signs, markings, and signal timing design.

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