Can interactive technology ease urban traffic jams?

Traffic congestion is a serious problem in the United States, but a new analysis shows that interactive technology -- ranging from 511 traffic information systems and roadside cameras to traffic apps like Waze and Google Maps -- is helping in cities that use it.

Potentially, the researchers said, technology could limit the need to widen and expand roadways while saving commuters time and money and lessening environmental damage.

"Technology has the potential to help society, and one way is to help us make better infrastructure decisions and put less pressure on roads," said Paul A. Pavlou, dean of the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston.



With Chinas rapid economic growth and rapid development of urban construction, the number of vehicles in cities is increasing day by day, and the traffic pressure continues to increase. All kinds of traffic problems are gradually highlighted. Tidal traffic is the representative of many traffic problems, that is, oneway surge in traffic flow occurs at specific times, such as rush hour and holiday rush hour.

Based on the theory of urban traffic network flow, Youyi Ge, Xing Zhao and their team studied the influence of the setting of urban tidal lane on the traffic distribution in the regional road network.

According to the influence mechanism of tidal lane's setting on road network facilities, the sensitivity of road network traffic flow after tidal lane's setting to free travel time, road section capacity and OD travel demand is studied and analyzed, and the sensitivity equation of tidal lane's input variables in the equilibrium network to road section traffic flow is established, thus analyzing the influence of tidal lane's setting on road network traffic flow.

The author thinks that the setting up of tidal lane has not changed the original structure of urban road network, but only redistributes the number of directional lanes on some sections. At the same time, the setting of road sections in tidal lane has a direct impact on the road section properties and travel demand of the urban road network. Therefore, it is feasible and effective to analyze the impact of the setting of tidal lane on the traffic flow of the road network based on the network flow sensitivity theory.

This study can make the setting and operation of tidal lane more comprehensive and reasonable, and can also provide a practical theoretical tool for urban traffic planners to make setting decisions in tidal lane.

For more information, please visit the journal of modern transportation: