Managed Motorway

Managed Motorways, or smart freeways, prevent congestion by continuously monitoring traffic flows and control access to the freeway with state-of-the-art ramp metering signal technologies that are more precise and sophisticated than applications currently in use. By applying contemporary and proven algorithms (i.e., ramp signal control formulas) that consider the system as a whole, traffic congestion becomes more consistent and helps prevent congestion.

Managed Motorways prevent congestion by using more sophisticated ramp metering algorithms and more precise vehicle detection.

By effectively preventing congestion, Managed Motorways can minimize or eliminate capacity drops and improve travel time reliability and safety. UDOT conducted a study that used the macroscopic modeling tool METANET to quantify the potential benefit of applying Managed Motorways to I-15. METANET was used to simulate evening peak period traffic conditions for southbound I-15 from the I-80 West interchange (eastbound I-80 to southbound I-15 ramp) to the 9000 South interchange. The study showed that by implementing Managed Motorways control, “only for arterial entry ramps,” results in a total system delay reduction of 77 vehicle-hours (or 5 percent). Implementing Managed Motorways for all entry ramps, including freeway-to-freeway interchange ramps, results in a total system delay reduction of 608 vehicle-hours (or 37 percent).

Another consideration for managed motorways is a decrease in breakdowns and accidents. The existing traffic flow breakdowns occurring on the freeway mainline result in lost throughput capacity, unreliable travel times, and hazardous congested conditions.