Framework for Determining Impacts of Malfunctioning of DTM Systems on Traffic Flow

Development and A Case Study for the Amsterdam Region

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Dynamic traffic management (DTM) plays an important role from Dutch policy perspective to prevent road congestion and has been developed from control strategies to services. Five traffic control centers, 22 different DTM systems with 35 functions and over 50,000 DTM components make up the national traffic management network in the Netherlands. The malfunctioning of the DTM systems is expected to create negative impacts to the traffic, proper maintenance planning is necessary to ensure their availabilities. However, there is less knowledge about the DTM malfunctions, which makes it difficult to monetize the malfunction effects and therefore to optimally deploy the maintenance budget. In this research, a macroscopic dynamic traffic assignment model “MARPLE” is used to evaluate the social costs of the DTM malfunctions according to the failure function, failure duration, and failure location.
The motorway network around Amsterdam is chosen as the study area in this research, and four DTM systems and measures were evaluated, including the rush hour lane (RHL), the motorway traffic management (MTM) system, the dynamic route information panels (DRIPs) and the ramp metering (RM) system. By conversing the DTM malfunctions into the motorway network, the introduced impacts to the traffic both in local and network levels are identified.
This research made the first attempt to modify DTM malfunctions in a macroscopic dynamic traffic assignment model, and a methodology was developed to calculate the malfunction costs both in traffic flow and safety aspects. The outcome of this research answered what-if questions with regarding to DTM malfunctions, it also proved the feasibility of the ambition to translate the DTM malfunction impacts at a network level into its social costs, according to which the maintenance strategy for the DTM systems can be better deployed. Overall, the initial goal of calculating the malfunction costs of the DTM systems with a newly developed methodology is met. Through the identified limitations and improvement strategies, the framework developed in this study could offer the possibility to refine the analysis, and/or easily be applied to other DTM systems and road parts.