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TECHNOLOGY Managed Motorways


The liberation of Victoria O


How technology is improving one of Australia’s most congested freeways, by Jason Wagstaff


ne of the key challenges facing road agencies today is maxim- ising road network efficiency


and limiting impacts on the commu- nity. Increasingly, road agencies are turning to more sustainable solutions to manage growing traffic congestion as an alternative to traditional road net- work expansion, a very expensive exer- cise often involving the introduction of tolls to recover the investment in new infrastructure. The Australian Bureau of Transport


and Resource Economics anticipates the avoidable social costs of traffic con- gestion will rise to about A$20billion (€15billion) by 2020. Transmax is helping transport agencies introduce smart, more sustainable ITS solutions to help reduce their associated costs while providing significant benefits to the community.


IMPLEMENTING STREAMS MANAGED MOTORWAYS Like other major cities, Melbourne has been battling the growth in traffic con- gestion as increasing vehicle numbers choke the main arterial roads in peak travel periods. Transmax was commis- sioned to implement a coordinated ramp metering trial system on the M1 to test the effectiveness of the ALINEA/HERO ramp metering algorithms developed by the University of Crete. VicRoads (Victoria’s road traffic authority) adopted this suite of algorithms after a compre- hensive evaluation of tried and tested options worldwide. The trial involved implementing


STREAMS Managed Motorways on a 15 km section of the M1 Monash Freeway in Victoria, Australia was a critical step in moving the city of Melbourne towards a smarter, more dynamically-managed


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STREAMS Managed Motorways – schematic view


Among many other features, STREAMS integrates managed motorways, incident and event management, urban traffic control, real-time traveller information, parking guidance and network video management


transport network that was needed on the state’s most trafficked and con- gested freeway. The STREAMS ITS solution deployed intelligent motor- way on-ramp metering to manage the upstream demand so as not to exceed freeway capacity. The system exceeded all expectations


by reducing delays, improving reliability and increasing traffic throughput. Before and after studies demonstrated peak hour flow increases exceeding 10 per cent


thinkinghighways.com


and average speed increases of 20km per hour during peak travel periods. Travel time was reduced by over 40 per cent on the motorway during peak periods. This equates to travel time savings achievable by adding almost an extra freeway lane (based on a four lane cross section) but at a fraction of the cost. Accidents were reduced by 30 per


cent and the demonstrable environmen- tal benefits included daily fuel savings estimated at 16,500 litres of petrol and


Vol 8 No 2 Europe/Rest of the World


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