This synthesis report describes both US and European techniques in Active Traffic Management (ATM).
The primary focus of this synthesis is on European experience, which in some cases dates back a number of years. This report provides a compilation of lessons learned, experiences, operational results, and benefits associated with active traffic management applications. The applications included for discussion are primarily those that include variable speed management (also called speed harmonization or lane control in Europe), shoulder or line management, junction control, and directional routing. The report concludes with a discussion of the potential benefits and challenges of a system-wide application of techniques to actively manage traffic and a listing of initial implementations of European strategies in the US.
In June 2006, a group of eleven US transportation professionals representing planning, design, and operations visited five European nations to study how they were addressing freeway congestion using dynamic or actively managed traffic management techniques. The trip was sponsored by the International Technology Scanning Program, a partnership of AASHTO, FHWA, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program of TRB. The trip purpose was to examine congestion management programs, policies, and experiences from the perspectives of national, state, and local transportation agencies.
The scan team found that through the deployment of these specific traffic management techniques, agencies in Denmark, England, Germany, and The Netherlands exercise increased control over their roadway facilities and are able to better optimize their infrastructure investment to meet customer needs. Depending on the location and the combination of strategies deployed, specific benefits as a result of this congestion management approach include:
Nine key recommendations were identified by the scan team that would be applicable to congestion management in the United States. The following are the scan team’s primary recommendations (Mirshahi, et al., 2007):
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration