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CRITICAL EVALUATION OF ROADWAY CAPACITY OF MULTI-LANE HIGH SPEED CORRIDORS UNDER 235

HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS


Paper No. 566

CRITICAL EVALUATION OF ROADWAY CAPACITY OF MULTI-LANE


HIGH SPEED CORRIDORS UNDER HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC
CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC
SIMULATION MODELS
S. VELMURUGAN*, ERRAMPALLI MADHU**, K. RAVINDER***, K. SITARAMANJANEYULU****
& S. GANGOPADHYAY*****
ABSTRACT
The major factors affecting the Road User Costs (RUC) are the speed coupled with traffic flow characteristics at which vehicles operate on
roads, which in turn determines fuel consumption and other cost components per unit distance traveled. Considering this, the Government
of India has been involved in roadway capacity augmentation by building multi-lane divided carriageways to link major cities through the
implementation of various projects, like, Golden Quadrilateral, North-South, East-West and Expressway Corridors during the last decade.
These radical changes in road network coupled with radical advancements in vehicle technology have resulted in huge variations in
speed - flow characteristics, which necessitated the evolution of exclusive speed-flow equations and roadway capacity for multi-lane
highways. Accordingly, an attempt has been made in this Paper to explicitly study the speed - flow characteristics on varying types of
multi-lane highways encompassing four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways in plain terrain. From the collected data, free
speed profiles and speed - flow equations for different vehicle types for varying widths of multi-lane highways in the country has been
developed based on traditional and microscopic simulation models and subsequently roadway capacity has been estimated. Further, the lane
change behavior of different vehicle types has been extensively studied and its impact on roadway capacity has been estimated on multi-lane
highways. Finally, the Design Service Volume for varying types of divided carriageways including four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane has been
evolved with reasonable degree of authenticity under the prevailing heterogeneous traffic conditions on multi-lane highways in India.
Key Words: Free Speed, Speed-Flow Equations, Roadway Capacity, Lane Change Behaviour, High Speed Corridors;

PREAMBLE

The sustained economic growth in India in recent years


has brought opportunities and challenges to the planning
and management of the Indian transportation system. Like
in other developing countries, the transportation system
in India is characterized by limited roadway infrastructure
and the lack of operation and management experience.
Among the most critical issues in highway planning and
management is to determine the roadway capacities of
any highway. As such, India has one of the largest road
networks in the world hovering around 3.5 million km at
present. For the purpose of management and

Contact Author and Scientist, TE & TPA

**

Scientist, TE & TPA

***

Scientist, TE & TPA

****

Scientist, PED

***** Director

administration, roads in India are divided into five


categories namely, National Highways (NH), State
Highways (SH), Major District Roads (MDR), Other
District Roads (ODR) and Village Roads (VR). NHs are
intended to facilitate medium and long distance
inter-city passenger and freight traffic across the country
and they are also serve as main arterial roads which run
through length and breadth of the country connecting sea
ports, state capitals, major industrial and tourist centers.
Though the NHs constitutes less than 2 per cent of the
total road network, but carries 40 per cent of the total
road traffic. The road infrastructure and available

Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) Mathura Road, CRRI (P.O.)


New Delhi - 110020, India
E-mail: vms_04@yahoo.co.in; vms.crri@nic.in

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

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transport services in the country are highly inadequate


for achieving faster movement of passenger and goods
movement in comparison with the situation in the
developed world. Many sections of the highways are in
need of capacity augmentation, pavement strengthening,
rehabilitation of bridges, improvement of riding quality,
provision of traffic safety measures, etc. Eventually it
has been realized by the Government of India that the
above mentioned gross inadequacies in the NH network
coupled with congestion caused by heterogeneity in traffic
mix is contributing to huge economic losses in terms of
high Road User Cost (RUC), which is also contributing
to high rate of road accidents. Realising the present
shortcomings in the transport sector, the Government of
India has initiated massive construction programmes of
highways linking major cities/activity centres. This has
led to gradual growth in the quantum of NH network,
which was around 22,255 km in 1951 has risen to 70,548
km as of March 2009 (Velmurugan et. al., 2009).
Considering the above mandate of the Government, it
was felt essential to quantify the investment made on the
multilane highways by developing RUC models exclusive
to multi-lane highways. Eventually, a study has been
undertaken by the Central Road Research Institute
(CRRI), New Delhi under the aegis of Planning
Commission, Government of India in 2008 focusing on
evolving free speed and speed - flow relationships and
finally develop RUC models for high speed corridors. The
term 'High Speed Corridors' used in this study implies
four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided inter-city
highways. The automobile industry and road design
standards in India have also undergone tremendous
changes in the recent decade. Therefore, it was
considered necessary to take a look at the changing trends
of prevailing speed - flow characteristics considering the
emerging high speed corridors of India. In 1982,
speed - flow studies were carried out as a part of Road
User Cost Study (RUCS) and they are subsequently
updated in the years 1992 and 2001 for varying
carriageway widths (CRRI, 1982, Kadiyali, 1992 and
CRRI, 2001). From here onwards, these studies will be
referred in this Paper as RUCS-1982, URUCS-1992

and URUCS-2001, respectively. Basically, the speed flow relationships developed in the above studies
encompassed only up to four lane divided carriageways
as the multi-lane highways beyond such carriageway
widths were not existent at that time in India.
In this Paper, an attempt has been made for the first time
to explicitly study the free speed profiles and
speed - flow characteristics on varying types of
multi-lane highways covering four-lane, six-lane and
eight-lane divided carriageways in plain terrain. In order
to assess these characteristics, Time Mean Speed (TMS)
under free flow conditions and Space Mean Speed (SMS)
coupled with traffic flow data was extensively collected
spread over different regions of India. From the collected
data, free speed profiles of different vehicle types on
high speed corridors and speed - flow equations have
been developed based on traditional and microscopic
simulation models. Subsequently, capacity norms for such
high speed corridors were also evolved. The impact of
typical Indian driving behavior i.e. how the lane change
behavior affects roadway capacity on multi-lane highways
has been assessed through microscopic simulation
approach. Finally, based on the results derived in this study,
the Design Service Volume (DSV) for varying types of
multi-lane highways including four-lane, six-lane and
eight-lane divided carriageways has been evolved with
reasonable degree of authenticity under the prevailing
heterogeneous traffic conditions. The outcome from this
study is expected to form an important input for developing
RUC models exclusively for varying type of multi-lane
highways. This Paper has been structured as given below.
In the next section, an exhaustive overview of
speed - flow studies carried out in India and elsewhere
for multi-lane highways is summarized. The details in
respect of free speed and speed-flow data collected at
various road sections are discussed in Section 3 coupled
with the description of data collection methodology. The
results derived from free speed analysis are presented in
Section 4, whereas speed - flow equations developed for
different vehicle types covering varying carriageway
widths on multi-lane highways based on traditional and
microscopic simulation models is dealt in Section 5. The

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

CRITICAL EVALUATION OF ROADWAY CAPACITY OF MULTI-LANE HIGH SPEED CORRIDORS UNDER 237
HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS
procedure adopted for evolving the roadway capacity
norms for varying carriageway widths on multi-lane
highways is also discussed in the same section. The impact
of lane change behavior on roadway capacity is presented
in detail in Section 6. Finally, the conclusions emerging
from this study are discussed in Section 7.
2

CAPACITY STUDIES ON MULTI-LANE


HIGHWAYS

This section focuses on the studies accomplished for


multi-lane highways only. As such, the determination of
highway capacity is one of the most important applications
of any traffic theory (Kerner, 2004). Some previous
theories and empirical researches focused on the
interrelationships among the influence of capacity, traffic
features, geometric elements, environmental conditions
and temporal weather factors on interrupted multi-lane
highways (see for example, Hoban, 1987; Iwasaki,
1991; Ibrahim and Hall, 1994 and Shankar and
Mannering, 1998). Many years of research has led to the
development of theories and methodologies in roadway
capacity analysis in the developed countries. For example,
the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) developed in the
United States of America describes roadway capacity
under ideal conditions and then estimates practical
capacities under prevailing conditions in the field.
US-HCM 2000 (TRB, 2000) suggested that a maximum
flow rate that can be achieved on a multilane highway is
2200 PCU/hour/lane. The Danish method is also a
modification of U.S. HCM to suit Danish conditions. The
adjustment factors in the Danish method cause a steeper
capacity reduction than in US-HCM 2000 as the
conditions become less ideal and therefore, the capacity
under ideal conditions on a four-lane highway is 2300
PCU/hour/lane on Denmark highways (Nielsen and
Jorgensen, 2008). Similarly, in Finland and Norway too,
US-HCM 2000 (TRB, 2000) was followed with minor
modifications to suit the local conditions and the roadway
capacities obtained by the Finnish and Norwegian methods
for multi-lane highways is 2000 PCU/hour/lane The
structure of the Swedish method is similar to the
US-HCM (1995) and it uses the 1995 HCM adjustment
factors for the roadway width, whereas other adjustments

factors are mostly omitted. Consequently, the Swedish


method yielded higher capacity estimates and the
estimated capacity of four-lane divided highways was
4200 PCUs/hour per direction (Luttinen and Innamaa,
2000). The Australian method for analysis of capacity
was basically same as that of US-HCM method with the
basic difference being additional modification has been
suggested for specific problems. Under ideal conditions,
the average minimum headway of 1.8 seconds was
considered and maximum flow of 2000 vehicles per hour
per lane was assumed. The succeeding paragraph focuses
on the roadway capacity evolved in Asian countries like
Indonesia and China for multi-lane highways wherein
largely heterogeneous traffic conditions as experienced
on Indian highways is witnessed.
Bang et. al. (1997) in their study for establishing Indonesia
HCM mentioned that travel speed (synonymous with
journey speed) as the main measure of performance of
road segments, since it is easy to understand and to
measure, and is an essential input to road user costs in
economic analysis. Travel speed is defined in this manual
as the space mean speed of light vehicles (LV) over the
road segment as given below:
V=

L
TT

...(1)

where, V

space mean speed (km/h) of


Light Vehicles (LVs)

length of segment (km)

TT

mean travel time of LVs over the


segment (in hours)

Using this analogy, the capacity of multi-lane highways


has been estimated as 2300 LVs/hour/lane for Indonesian
multi-lane highways. In the case of Chinese conditions,
based on the field data collected, VTI highway simulation
model was calibrated and validated and this model was
used for the determination of Passenger Car Equivalents
(PCE) and speed-flow relationships for different terrain
types in parallel with multiple regression analysis of
empirical speed-flow data. The results showed that the
free-flow speeds of vehicles were substantially low and

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that the roadway capacity was also marginally lower


(2100 PCEs per lane on four-lane divided carriageways)
under Chinese conditions as compared with the values
obtained for Indonesian multi-lane highways. Further, Yang
and Zhang (2005) have established based on their
extensive field survey of traffic flow on multi-lane
highways in Beijing and subsequent empirical model
development that the average roadway capacity per hour
per lane on four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided
carriageways is 2104, 1973 and 1848 PCUs, respectively.
This is unlike HCM results obtained for many developed
countries which prescribe that average capacity per lane
on different highways is equal as they assume that
highway capacity is constantly proportional to the number
of lanes on multi-lane divided carriageways.
Based on the review of above studies in both developed
and developing countries it is obvious that the roadway
design and traffic control practices are mostly country or
region specific and hence cannot be simply transferred
to any country for direct applications. In this context, it is
be noted that the roadway capacity and the conditions
for adjustment are vastly different on Indian roadways
as the local roadway design (i.e. lane width, curves and
grades), vehicle size and more importantly, traffic mix
and behaviour of a driver especially lane changing and
lane discipline phenomenon are entirely different. Further,
since there is not a systematic approach to this problem,
coupled by a lack of fundamental data, the adjustment
factors from say, the US HCM 2000 (TRB, 2000)
cannot be easily revised and applied to Indian highways.
This is because adherence to lane discipline characterizes
homogeneous traffic in the developed nations whereas
very loose lane discipline describes heterogeneous traffic
which is very much an integral part of all roadways in
India including multi-lane highways. This is due to fast
moving vehicles cars, goods vehicles, motorized two
wheelers sharing the same road space with bicycles, farm
tractors, tractor trailers and other types of slow moving
vehicles (like cycle rickshaw, animal drawn vehicles, etc.)
on the Indian traffic scene accounting for varying
proportion on multi-lane highways depending on its
geographical location.

Ironically, most of the models discussed above developed


for homogeneous condition are not applicable for the
heterogeneous traffic prevalent on Indian roads.
Eventually, the first major research effort in India in this
direction was done as part of the RUCS-1982 and this
was followed by URUCS-1992 and URUCS-2001.
IRC-64 (1990) suggested the tentative DSV of 40,000
PCUs for the four-lane divided carriageway in plain
terrain, which is significantly lesser than the values evolved
in most of the developed and developing countries and
therefore the need was felt for revisiting the DSV values
evolved under IRC-64. Consequently, many research
studies (Kadiyali, et. al., 1991, Tiwari, et. al., 2000,
Velmurugan et. al., 2002, 4. Chandra S. and Kumar U.,
2003, Reddy, et. al., 2003, Chandra, 2004, Errampalli,
et. al., 2004, Velmurugan, et. al., 2004, Dey, 2007,
Errampalli, et. al., 2009, Velmurugan et. al., 2009) aimed
at assessing the roadway capacity for varying
carriageway widths including single lane, intermediate
lane, two-lane bi-directional and four-lane divided
carriageway widths covering different terrains have been
carried out during the last two decades. URUCS-2001
recommended tentative roadway capacity of 70,00090,000 PCUs/day for a four-lane divided carriageway in
plain terrain (1750-2250 PCU/hr/lane considering 10 per
cent peak hour flow). Chandra and Kumar (2003) studied
the effect of roadway width on capacity under different
volume capacity ratios and varying proportions of
vehicles. Shukla (2008) studied the mixed traffic flow
behavior on four-lane divided highway for varying
conditions of traffic volume and shoulder and developed
a simulation model for the observed traffic flow to estimate
roadway capacity under these conditions. To understand
the traffic flow behavior on four-lane divided highways
under mixed traffic condition, the arrival pattern of
vehicles, speed characteristics, lateral placement of
vehicles and overtaking behavior was analyzed. Shukla
(2008) further reported that the roadway capacity of fourlane divided carriageways as 4770 vehicles/hour (vph) in
each direction is estimated for 'all cars' situation.
This exhaustive look at the literature indicates that no
substantial work has been carried out for establishing the

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

CRITICAL EVALUATION OF ROADWAY CAPACITY OF MULTI-LANE HIGH SPEED CORRIDORS UNDER 239
HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS
roadway capacity and DSV for varying carriageway
widths on multi-lane highways covering four-lane,
six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways for the
heterogeneous traffic mix prevalent on Indian highways
with reasonable degree of confidence and hence this
research endeavor can be termed as a significant attempt
in this direction. The following section describes the
methodology adopted for accomplishing this study.
3

STUDY METHDOLOGY

As mentioned in Section 1, the primary objectives of the


present study are to assess the free speeds of different
vehicle types on multi-lane high speed corridors and
develop a realistic speed - flow equations for estimating
the roadway capacity. From these results, DSV values
are proposed to determine for varying types of
multi-lane high speed corridors. In order to achieve the
above envisaged objectives, separate methodologies are
adopted for deriving free speed profiles and speed - flow
relations for varying carriageway widths. To accomplish
the above stated objectives, the following studies were
conducted:

3.1

a)

Free Speed studies

b)

Speed - Flow studies

Free Speed Studies

In the present study, free speed data was collected on


different NHs and Expressways spread across the length
and breadth of the country using Pro-Laser
Instrumentation System (Laser Speed Measurement
Gun) and trap length method at 21 selected road sections
covering varying carriageway widths on multi-lane
highways. As the selected test sections are divided road
segments possessing varying horizontal curvature and
traffic conditions in the two directions of the roadway,
the above traffic data collection was carried out at each
of the locations on both directions of travel as though
each direction was a separate one-way road and hence
the total number of study sections amounts to 42. The list
of test sections considered is given in Table 1. All these
study sections possess good riding quality with roughness

ranging around 2500 mm/km. The test sections have been


chosen as far as possible away from the urban influence
so that free flow conditions can be experienced. As can
be inferred from Table 1, the number of six-lane divided
carriageway road sections considered is only 3, whereas
eight lane divided carriageway considered is only 1. This
may be attributed to the relatively lesser number of road
sections presently available in these categories without
having the urban influence as compared to the four lane
divided carriageways on inter-city corridors. As the test
sections include four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane
carriageways, separate analysis has been carried out for
these carriageways. Further, it can also be noted from
Table 1 that some of the selected test sections are lying
in curved sections. These sections are specifically
selected to incorporate the impact of horizontal curvature
on the vehicular speeds and determine the generalized
free speed characteristics on these highways. The free
speed data was collected by classifying the vehicles into
following categories namely Cars (which is further
sub-classified into two categories namely Small
Cars < 1400 cc engine capacity and Big Cars > 1400 cc
engine capacity), Two Wheelers (TWs), Auto Rickshaws
(Autos), Buses, Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs),
Two-axle Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCVs) and
Multi-axle Heavy Commercial Vehicles (MAVs).
3.2

Methodology for Free Speed Analysis

The observed free speeds of different vehicle types were


classified into suitable intervals generally of 5 kilometers
per hour (kmph) to determine the frequency distribution
of vehicles as per speed. The mean speed and standard
deviation (SD) values were calculated from the frequency
distributions. Further, these data were fitted to normal
distribution using mean and SD of vehicle speeds. From
these distributions, important parameters namely 15th
Percentile Speed (V15), 50th Percentile Speed (V50), 85th
Percentile Speed (V85), 95th Percentile Speed (V95) and
Spread Ratio (SR) were calculated to check the validity
of the data. V15 is used to determine the lower speed
limit whereas V85 is used for upper speed limits and V95 is

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used as a design speed for geometric design of highways.


The SR is used to explain normality of the observed data
and it is defined as,
SR

V85 V50
V50 V15

...(2)

The estimated frequency curve will be truly normal when


SR is unity. It will tend to deviate from the normal
distribution as SR deviates from the unity. As can be seen
from the fitted normal distributions, the speed data follow
the normal curve only when SR is ranging between 0.69
and 1.35 (Dey, et. al., 2006).

Table 1 Selected Test Sections for Free Speed and Speed - Flow Studies
S. No.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30

National Highway
(NH) / Expressway
NH-2
NH-2
NH-2
NH-4
NH-5
NH-6
NH-6
NH-45
NH-45
NH-45
NH-5
NH-5
NH-202
NH-7
NH-7

Location
(Chainage)
Km 98
Km 98
Km 629
Km 629
Km 643
Km 643
Km 1242
Km 1242
Km 1501
Km 1501
Km 44
Km 44
Km 47
Km 47
Km 29
Km 29
Km 58
Km 58
Km 98
Km 98
Km 5
Km 5
Km 1069
Km 1069
Km 15
Km 15
Km 25
Km 25
Km 462
Km 462

Direction

Number
of Lanes
Delhi - Mathura
Four
Mathura - Delhi
Four
Durgapur - Kolkata
Four
Kolkata - Durgapur
Four
Durgapur - Kolkata
Four
Kolkata - Durgapur
Four
Bangalore - Chennai
Four
Chennai - Bangalore
Four
Chennai - Kolkata
Four
Kolkata - Chennai
Four
Kharagpur - Kolkata
Four
Kolkata - Kharagpur
Four
Kharagpur - Kolkata
Four
Kolkata - Kharagpur
Four
Chenglepat - Chennai
Four
Chennai - Chenglepat
Four
Chennai - Villupuram
Four
Villupuram - Chennai
Four
Chennai - Villupuram
Four
Villupuram - Chennai
Four
Vijayawada - Kolkata
Four
Kolkata - Vijayawada
Four
Vijayawada - Guntur
Four
Guntur - Vijayawada
Four
Hyderabad - Warangal
Four
Warangal - Hyderabad
Four
Hyderabad - Bangalore
Four
Bangalore - Hyderabad
Four
Hyderabad - Nagpur
Four
Nagpur - Hyderabad
Four

Type of Section
Straight
Straight
Curved
Curved
Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight
Curved
Curved
Curved
Curved
Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight
Curved
Curved
Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight
(Table 1 Contd...)

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

CRITICAL EVALUATION OF ROADWAY CAPACITY OF MULTI-LANE HIGH SPEED CORRIDORS UNDER 241
HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS
(Table 1 Contd...)

S. No.
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
3.3

National Highway
(NH) / Expressway
NH-9
NH-9
Greater Noida
Expressway
Greater Noida
Expressway
NH-1
Delhi-Gurgaon
Expressway

Location
(Chainage)

Direction

Number
of Lanes

Type of Section

Km 462
Km 499
Km 30
Km 30
Near Lotus
Valley School
Near Panchsheel
Bal College
Km 38
Km 38
Near IFFCO
Chowk

Hyderabad - Mumbai
Mumbai - Hyderabad
Hyderabad-Vijayawada
Vijayawada-Hyderabad
Delhi - Noida
Noida - Delhi
Delhi - Greater Noida
Greater Noida - Delhi
Delhi - Sonepat
Sonepat - Delhi
Delhi - Gurgaon
Gurgaon - Delhi

Four
Four
Four
Four
Six
Six
Six
Six
Six
Six
Eight
Eight

Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight
Curved
Curved
Straight
Straight
Straight
Straight

Speed - Flow Studies

The speed - flow studies were conducted along with free


speed studies at the test sections mentioned in Table 1.
In the case of speed - flow studies, Registration Plate
Survey was conducted for determination of journey speeds
and simultaneously Classified Traffic Volume Counts were
conducted to estimate flow by synchronizing start time
of the traffic volume with that of the Registration Plate
survey. Traffic volume counts and Registration Plate
Survey were conducted for 8 hrs on a typical normal
working day by following the vehicle classification adopted
in the free speed studies. Space Mean Speed (SMS) data
was extracted out of the Registration Plate survey. This
is a conventional procedure used for determining the
speeds by recording the vehicle registration number, entry
and exit time of vehicles on a defined trap length with the
help of two synchronized stop clocks. The trap lengths
of the road stretches selected for the mean speed
measurements ranged between 400 m to 900 m. By noting
the registration number and time of arrival and departure
of the vehicles at the entry and exit points, the travel time
over the selected trap length was determined and thereby
the travel speed was derived. Based on the collected
speed and flow data, speed - flow relationships are
proposed to develop for different vehicle types for
four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways
separately.

3.4

Methodology for Speed - Flow Equations and


Roadway Capacity

In the present study, the traffic flow data was analyzed


by typically dividing the traffic volume into two segments
corresponding to congested and uncongested traffic
conditions as shown in Fig. 1 (Yao, et. al., 2009). The
two segments encompass the following:
(i)

Uncongested (Upper Part):Traffic related to


Uncongested and Queue Discharge states

(ii)

Congested (Lower Part): Traffic related to


Queuing state (Stop and Go)

Fig. 1

Uncongested and Congested Parts of Speed-Flow


Curve

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

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It is proposed to analyze these two parts separately and


determine the speed - flow relationships separately in
the present study. For upper part (Uncongested) of the
curve, different models including linear, exponential,
polynomial, logarithmic, power, Akcelik and Bureau of
Public Roads (BPR) have been attempted whereas for
the lower part of the curve, linear, polynomial, logarithmic,
power and exponential models were tried to be fitted and
the model exhibiting best fit with the field data was
adopted. The forms of these models are selected based

on the formulations given in Table 2. These formulations


are adopted for developing speed-flow equations and
selected based on their statistical validity. Using this
procedure, the speed - flow equations for different vehicle
types on varying carriageway widths on multi-lane
highways namely four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided
carriageways have been developed. In this study, the
roadway capacity is considered as the intersecting point
of best speed - flow models developed for the upper and
lower part as shown in Fig. 2.

Table 2 Functional Form of Candidate Models for Speed-Flow Curves


Name of the
Equation

Functional
Form

Comments

v = - x +

Not always advisable; Reaches zero speed


at high F/Fcap

Logarithmic

v = - ln x +

Not always advisable; Has no value at x = 0


(the logarithm of "x" approaches negative infinity).

Exponential

v = vf exp(- x)

Has all the required traits for equilibrium assignment

v = /x

Not always advisable; It goes to infinity at


F/Fcap at x = 0.

Polynomial

v = - x2 - x +

Not always advisable; It reaches zero speed


at high F/Fcap

Bureau of Public
Roads (BPR)
Akcelik

v = vf/(1+ (x) )

Has all the required traits for equilibrium assignment

V = L/[L / vf + 0.25{(x - 1)
+ SQRT{(x - 1)2 + x}}]

Has all the required traits for equilibrium assignment.

Linear

Power

Note

v = Speed; , and = Global Parameters for Equation; x = F/Fcap ratio; vf = Free - Flow Speed;
F = Flow; Fcap = Capacity Flow; L = Link Length;
3.5

Fig. 2

Flow (PCU/hr)
Capacity Estimation from Speed-Flow Curves

Design Service Volume (DSV)

Design Service Volume (DSV) is defined as the maximum


hourly volume at which vehicles can reasonably be
expected to traverse a point or uniform section of a lane
or roadway during a given time period under the prevailing
roadway, traffic and control conditions while maintaining
a designated Level of Service (LOS). From the view point
of smooth traffic flow, it is not advisable to design the
width of carriageway (or for determining the number of
lanes) for a traffic volume equal to its capacity which is
available at LOS-E. At this level, the speeds are low
(typically half the free speed) and freedom to maneuver

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

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HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS
within the traffic stream is extremely restricted. Besides,
at this level of service, even a small increase in volume
would lead to forced flow situation and breakdowns within
the traffic stream. Even the flow conditions at LOS-C
and LOS-D involve significant vehicle interaction leading
to lower level of comfort and convenience. In contrast,
LOS-B represents a stable flow zone which affords
reasonable freedom to drivers in terms of speed selection
and maneuvers within the traffic stream. Under normal
circumstances, therefore, the use of LOS-B is considered
desirable for the design of rural highways. At this level,
volume of traffic will be around 0.5 times the roadway
capacity and this is taken as the DSV for the purpose of
determining the carriageway width.It is recommended
that for major arterial routes, LOS-B should be adopted
for design purposes. On other roads under exceptional
circumstances, LOS-C could also be adopted for design.
Under these conditions, traffic will experience congestion
and inconvenience during some of the peak hours, which
may be acceptable. This planning decision should be taken
in each case specially after carefully considering factors,
like, suburban conditions, economic feasibility, etc. For
LOS-C, DSV can be taken as 40 percent higher than
those for LOS B.
4

travelling below a specified speed range was ignored as


they have outliers based on the scatter plot of the data.
Hence, the speed data considered for Two Wheelers,
Auto Rickshaws, Buses, Cars, LCVs/Two Axle Heavy
Commercial Vehicles and Multi-Axle heavy Commercial
Vehicles are more than 65 kmph, 50 kmph, 60 kmph,
80 kmph, 60 kmph and 55 kmph, respectively.
From Table 3, 4 and 5, it can be observed that the normal
distribution curve described the speed distributions
satisfactorily in most of the vehicle types, since the SR
value is ranging around 1.0 (from 0.950 to 1.157)
demonstrating that SR is well within the limits. A critical
evaluation of the free speed studies on four-lane, sixlane and eight-lane divided carriageway reveals the
following:
a)

The free speed of both small and big cars is much


higher when compared with other vehicle types
implying the rapid advancements in car
manufacturing technologies and superiority of
these engines.

b)

The mean free speed of HCVs and LCVs are


more or less same.

c)

The mean free speed of TW is marginally higher


than that of LCVs and Buses.

FREE SPEED ANALYSIS

The analysis of collected free speed data was carried


out as per the methodology explained in Section 3. As
mentioned in Section 3.1, the data collected for all the 42
test sections have been utilized. These sections include
four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageway,
but separate analysis has been carried out for these
carriageways. The observed free speed data was fitted
through normal distribution and relevant parameters
namely average speed, standard deviation, percentile
speeds and SR were estimated. The typical normal
distribution and cumulative distribution curves for free
speeds are given in Fig. 3.
From the normal distribution curves, free speeds of
vehicles on various selected sections of the multi-lane
high speed corridors are estimated and presented in Table
3, 4 and 5 for four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided
carriageways respectively. These tables also present the
various percentile speeds and the spread ratio of different
type of vehicles. Since the free speed analysis mainly
focuses on free-flow conditions, the vehicles travelling
with higher speeds are considered while arriving at the
average free speeds. For this purpose, the vehicle

A summary of the free speeds in four-lane, six-lane and


eight-lane divided carriageway is presented in Fig. 4. The
growing speeds of different vehicle types can be easily
understood from Fig. 4 and the following inferences have
been drawn:
a)

Generally, the mean free speeds of different


vehicle types on eight-lane are higher when
compared to four-lane and six-lane divided
carriageways.

b)

Free speeds of two wheelers and cars marginally


increased from four-lane to six-lane while the
increase is somewhat significant from six-lane
to eight-lane. This can be attributed to the
achievement of their desired speeds on four-lane
divided carriageway itself; hence, there is
insignificant improvement of speeds on six-lane
carriageway. However, the addition of one more
lane on eight-lane divided carriageway offering
higher freedom for vehicular movements might
have aided in attaining substantial increase in
desired speeds and thus resulting in enhanced
free speeds.

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Fig. 3 Typical Distribution of Free Speed on Four-Lane Divided Carriageways


(NH-45 at Km 98)

Table 3 Free Speed Statistics of Different Vehicles on Four-Lane Divided Carriageways


Sample
Size

Avg.
Speed *

V15 *

V50 *

V85 *

V95 *

Max.
Speed*

SD*

SR

TW

1191

74.2

63.5

71.7

80.1

85.0

120

7.8

1.027

Auto

753

54.2

46.3

51.6

56.9

60.5

79

5.0

0.995

Small Car

2688

92.4

80.7

89.9

100.6

106.7

161

10.1

1.157

Big Car

4137

93.0

79.7

90.1

100.4

106.3

149

9.8

1.000

Bus

2138

71.1

59.8

68.6

77.1

82.1

108

8.2

0.961

LCV

1614

68.6

58.5

66.1

73.9

78.1

113

7.3

1.019

HCV

504

68.5

58.0

65.9

74.2

78.9

103

7.7

1.038

MAV

1924

64.0

58.2

64.6

71.2

75.2

97

6.1

1.019

Vehicle
Type

*kmph
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Table 4 Free Speed Statistics of Different Vehicles on Six-Lane Divided Carriageways
Vehicle
Type

Sample
Size

Avg.
Speed *

V15 *

V50 *

V85 *

V95 *

Max.
Speed*

SD*

SR

TW

723

75.0

59.3

72.5

85.7

92.5

109

12.6

1.000

Auto

95

56.3

44.8

54.1

63.8

68.6

88

8.7

1.043

Small Car

749

93.1

80.2

90.6

100.9

106.8

136

9.8

0.998

Big Car

1132

95.5

82.1

93.0

104.0

110.6

135

10.5

1.014

Bus

283

74.4

65.1

71.8

78.4

82.1

102

6.2

0.997

LCV

93

73.6

62.9

71.0

79.5

84.4

105

7.9

1.041

HCV

83

70.7

58.6

68.2

78.3

84.4

101

9.7

1.049

MAV

109

70.5

59.0

68.0

76.8

81.9

100

8.5

0.980

*kmph
Table 5 Free Speed Statistics of Different Vehicles on Eight-Lane Divided Carriageways
Vehicle
Type

Sample
Size

Avg.
Speed *

V15 *

V50 *

V85 *

V95 *

Max.
Speed*

SD*

SR

TW

343

77.5

63.7

75.0

86.3

92.5

90.0

10.8

1.000

Auto

11

56.7

48.8

53.9

58.8

61.7

64.0

4.5

0.950

Small Car

165

98.0

83.2

95.5

107.5

115.2

97.0

11.8

0.980

Big Car

180

101.4

84.7

98.9

113.7

122.5

104.0

14.2

1.050

Bus

246

75.7

64.9

73.2

81.3

86.2

72.0

7.7

0.980

LCV

127

74.1

61.9

71.6

107.5

86.9

74.0

9.3

1.020

HCV

24

73.2

64.1

70.7

77.0

81.2

56.0

6.1

0.970

MAV

13

72.0

62.7

69.6

76.6

81.1

57.0

6.7

1.030

*kmph
c)

Fig. 4

Comparison of Average Free Speeds on Four-Lane,


Six-Lane and Eight-Lane Divided Carriageways for
Different Vehicle Types

Free speeds of heavy vehicles and autos


significantly increased from four-lane to six-lane
while marginally increased from six-lane to
eight-lane. This can be attributed to the above
vehicle types not able to attain the desired speed
levels on four-lanes whereas on six-lane divided
carriageway the presence of additional lane is
helping in achieving significant increase in free
speed from four-lane to six-lane. However, there
is insignificant improvement in free speeds on
eight-lane as compared to six lane carriageways.
As auto and heavy vehicles has achieved their
desired speed levels on six-lane itself, there is no
impact of eight-lane divided carriageway though
it offers higher LOS for vehicle movements

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compared to six and four lane divided
carriageways.

SPEED - FLOW ANALYSIS

5.1

Traditional Model

5.1.1

Development of Speed - Flow Equations

As mentioned in Section 3.3, the traffic data in respect


of journey speed, free speed and flow were collected at

the test sections given in Table 1 through registration plate


method, Laser Gun and classified volume count surveys
through manual means was collected for a period of
8 - 12 hrs on different types of multi lane highways spread
over the country. The observed traffic volume on these
road sections was analyzed and the ranges of traffic
composition of various vehicle types are presented in
Table 6.

Table 6 Observed Traffic Composition on Varying Types of Divided Carriageways


Vehicle Type

Traffic Composition on Divided Carriageways (in per cent)


Four-Lane

Six-Lane

Eight-Lane

Two Wheelers

4 - 59 (24)

9 - 50 (28)

9 - 29 (18)

Autos

0 - 23 (6)

0 - 12 (4)

0 - 1 (0.5)

Small Cars

1 - 36 (14)

7 - 55 (33)

23 - 53 (37)

Big Cars

1 - 43(15)

14 - 33(23)

27 - 48 (37)

Buses

1 - 45 (10)

1 - 11(3)

1 - 9 (3)

LCVs

1 - 40 (7)

1 - 6 (2)

1 - 18 (4)

HCVs

1 - 39 (11)

1 - 6 (2)

1 - 9 (1)

MAVs

1 - 32 (7)

1 - 11 (4)

1 - 9 (1)

Cycles & other Slow


Moving Vehicles (SMVs)

0 - 28 (5)

0 - 4 (1)

0 - 1 (0.5)

Note: Value in the parenthesis indicates the average share (in per cent) of the specific vehicle type in the traffic
stream
From Table 6, it can be inferred that the two wheelers
contribute for the major proportion of traffic on four-lane
and six-lane divided carriageways compared to eight-lane
divided carriageway, whereas, the share of auto
rickshaws is very insignificant on eight-lane
carriageways. Cars dominate the proportion of traffic in
all types of multi lane carriageways and share of both
two wheelers and cars together constitutes more than 80
per cent on six-lane and eight-lane carriageways. In
contrast, the heavy vehicles share in total volume is more
in case of four-lane compared to six-lane and eight-lane
carriageways. This phenomenon of higher passenger
traffic on six and eight lane divided carriageways and

relatively less share of goods traffic may be due to the


selection of test sections comparatively nearer to the
urban center (i.e. 10 - 40 km away from the city center).
The share of cycles and SMVs including tractors, animal
carts etc constitute less than 5 per cent on four-lane
whereas, it is negligible on six-lane and eight-lane
carriageways. In order to develop speed- flow equations
and estimate roadway capacity, it is necessary to convert
these observed traffic volume into a common unit, which
is termed as Passenger Car Unit (PCU). In the present
study, the PCU factors as per Table 7 given in IRC:64
(1990) has been used for converting the total volume into
PCUs.

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HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS
The observed traffic volume of different vehicle types is
converted into PCUs based on the PCU factors given in
Table 7. Using the analogy explained in Section 3.4, the
first ever attempt was done in India in the present study
by segregating speed - flow data into uncongested and
congested conditions. Subsequently speed - flow

for four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageway


respectively. For the estimation of goodness-of-fit in terms
of R2 and other statistical estimates in non-linear form of
the BPR equation, the software called Statistical Packages
for Social Studies (SPSS) has been used.

Table 7 PCU Factors adopted based on IRC


Specifications (IRC: 64-1990)

From Table 8, 9 and 10, it can be seen that the developed


linear and BPR speed - flow equations exhibit good
statistical validity in terms of good R2 values. Hence, the
developed equations are considered appropriate for
estimating speeds under varying traffic conditions and
can be explored for evolving roadway capacity.

Vehicle Type

PCU
Factor

Motor Cycles (MC)

0.5

Scooters (SC)

0.5

Autos (A)

Cycle Rick. & Other Slow Vehicles (OT)

1.5

Small Cars (<1400 cc) (CS)

1.0

Big Cars (CB)

1.0

Cycles (CY)

0.5

Buses (B)

3.0

Mini Buses (MB)

3.0

Tractors and Tractor Trailers (TT)

3.0

Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV)

1.0

Two Axle Commercial Vehicles (HCV)

3.0

Multi Axle Commercial Vehicles (MAV)

3.0

relationships were developed for different vehicle types


using both non-linear and linear formulations considering
uncongested and congested areas of speed - flow data
separately. On critical examination of the statistical validity
of each of the developed speed - flow equations, the BPR
model and linear model were considered for developing
the speed-flow equations. For upper curve
(Uncongested) BPR equations was considered whereas
for lower curve (Congested), linear formulations was
considered in the case of four-lane divided carriageway
considering statistical validity of the equations. In case of
six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways, linear models
were considered for both upper and lower curve as they
are showing higher statistical validity compared to other
models. A summary of developed speed-flow equations
for different vehicle types are given in Table 8, 9 and 10

5.1.2

Roadway Capacity from Traditional Model

Roadway capacity is the maximum number of vehicles


which has a reasonable expectation of passing over a
given section of a lane or a roadway in one direction (or
in both directions for a two-lane highway) during a given
period of time under prevailing roadway and traffic
conditions. The capacity is usually expressed as an hourly
volume. The theoretical speed - flow curve which is the
fundamental diagram of traffic flow is parabolic in shape.
The maximum speed is the free speed. The parabola starts
from the free speed and as the volume increases, the
speed generally falls down. At a point, known as the
maximum capacity the parabola takes an invert turn as
already shown in Fig. 1. In the present study, roadway
capacity was estimated from the intersecting point of
upper curve and lower curves. The estimated roadway
capacity of four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided
carriageways through traditional model is presented in
Fig. 5. From the Fig. 5, it can be observed that the
estimated roadway capacity i.e. intersecting point of upper
and lower curve for four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane
divided carriageway is 6050, 6400 and 10500 PCUs/hour/
direction.
5.1.3

Comparison of Observed Free Speeds and


Intercept of Speed - Flow Equation

To demonstrate the suitability of developed speed - flow


equations through traditional model, the intercept of the
equations are compared with the free speeds (refer Table
3, 4 and 5) and the comparison is presented in Table 11.

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Table 8 Speed-Flow Equations Derived from Traditional Models for Different Vehicles
on Four Lane Divided Carriageways

S. No.

Vehicle Type

Uncongested (Upper) Curve


Non-Linear (BPR) Equation

Congested (Lower) Curve


Linear Equation

Auto

y=66.731/(1+2.320*(x/6000.165)^)
R = 0.863

y = 0.011*x + 14.20
R = 0.952

TW

y=99.49/(1+2.585*(x/7000.385)^)
R = 0.880

y = 0.008*x + 19.52
R = 0.814

Cars

y=110.761/(1+1.564*(x/6999.968)^1)
R = 0.887

y = 0.004*x + 21.29
R = = 0.861

Bus

y=94.080/(1+2.794*(x/6998.148)^1.544)
R = 0.885

y = 0.006*x + 22.23
R = 0.674

LCV

y=87.345/(1+2.083*(x/6998.876)^1)
R = 0.766

y = 0.005*x + 20.83
R = 0.900

HCV

y=84.230/(1+2.056*(x/6999.049^1.089)
R = 0.713

y = 0.002*x + 24.69
R = 0.713

MAV

y=67.709/(1+3.466*(x/6995.476)^2.208)
R = 0.690

y = 0.002*x + 24.67
R = 0.701

Note: y = speed (kmph); x = Flow (PCU/hr/Dir)


Table 9 Speed-Flow Equations from Traditional Model for Different Vehicles
on Six Lane Divided Carriageways
S. No.

Vehicle Type

Uncongested (Upper) Curve


Non-Linear (BPR) Equation

Congested (Lower) Curve


Linear Equation

Auto

y = -0.004x + 59.39
R = 0.525

y = 0.009x + 19.64
R = 0.570

TW

y = -0.009x + 77.50
R = 0.638

y = 0.009x + 5.971
R = 0.525

Cars

y = -0.011x + 112.3
R = 0.493

y = 0.004x + 15.52
R = 0.646

Bus

y = -0.007x + 92.47
R = 0.663

y = 0.013x + 3.790
R = 0.528

LCV

y = -0.005x + 97.66
R = 0.362

y = 0.012x + 3.273
R = 0.777

HCV

y = -0.011x +82.60
R = 0.559

y = 0.011x + 2.227
R = 0.739

MAV

y = -0.011x + 92.38
R = 0.635

y = 0.005x + 12.04
R = 0.538

Note: y = speed (kmph); x = Flow (PCU/hr/Dir)


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HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS
Table 10

Speed-Flow Equations from Traditional Model for Different Vehicles on Eight Lane Divided
Carriageways

S. No.

Vehicle Type

Auto

TW

Cars

Bus

LCV

HCV

MAV

Uncongested (Upper) Curve


Non-Linear (BPR) Equation
y = -0.001x + 53.45
R = 0.606
y = -0.004x + 93.49
R = 0.823
y = -0.002x + 86.28
R = 0.726
y = -0.002x + 72.69
R = 0.830
y = -0.002x + 70.31
R = 0.786
y = -0.001x +66.55
R = 0.589
y = -0.003x + 74.39
R = 0.481

Congested (Lower) Curve


Linear Equation
y = 0.001x + 31.20
R = 0.709
y = 0.001x + 31.20
R = 0.603
y = -0.001x + 33.84
R = 0.495
y = -0.002x + 24.42
R = 0.704
y = 0.002x + 22.87
R =0.812
y = 0.001x + 32.33
R = 0.553
y = -0.001x + 29.31
R = 0.643

Note: y = speed (kmph); x = Flow (PCU/hr/Dir)

Fig. 5 Roadway Capacity of Four-Lane, Six-Lane and Eight-Lane Divided Carriageways Evolved through Traditional Models

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Table 11 Comparison of Observed Free Speed with Intercept on Speed-Flow Equation

Carriageway

Four-Lane

Six-Lane

Eight-Lane

Vehicle Type

Observed Mean Free


Speed (kmph)

Intercept of SpeedFlow Equation (kmph)

Error
(per cent)

Auto

54.2

66.7

23

Two Wheeler

74.2

99.5

34

Big Car

93.0

110.8

19

Small Car

92.4

Bus

71.1

94.1

32

LCV

68.6

87.3

27

HCV

68.5

84.2

23

MAV

64.0

67.7

Auto

56.6

59.4

Two Wheeler

75.0

77.5

Big Car

95.5

112.3

19

Small Car

93.1

Bus

74.4

92.5

24

LCV

73.6

97.7

33

HCV

70.7

82.6

17

MAV

70.5

92.4

31

Auto

56.7

53.5

Two Wheeler

77.5

93.5

21

Big Car

98.0

86.3

13

Small Car

101.4

Bus

75.7

72.7

LCV

74.1

70.3

HCV

73.2

66.6

MAV

72.0

74.4

From Table 11, it can be observed that the error between


observed free speed and intercept of speed flow equations
of different vehicle types on four-lane divided
carriageway is ranging from 6 to 34 per cent, whereas in
the case of six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageway,
the range is 3 to 31 per cent and 3 to 21 per cent
respectively. From the above results, it can be inferred
that even though the developed speed - flow equations
are exhibiting good statistical validity, the intercept derived
from the traditional models has not appropriately

represented the field conditions as the error difference


between the observed free speed and intercept of speed
- flow equations of different vehicle types is high. This
phenomenon can be attributed to the dataset considered
for developing the speed - flow relationships encompasses
aggregated traffic data (i.e. which includes traffic flow
and average free speed over a specified time interval)
and also not accounting of the typical random lane change
behaviour experienced on Indian highways in all the
traditional models derived in this study. To overcome this

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

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HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS
limitation, the microscopic simulation approach has been
attempted in this study which is capable of representing
individual vehicles on road section and estimate the driver
behaviour more realistically. The microscopic simulation
model has been developed to estimate speed and flow
characteristics for varying carriageway widths and the
details are furnished in the succeeding section.
5.2

Microscopic Simulation Model

on the field. However, it is to be borne in mind that the


data collection task needed to develop the microscopic
simulation can be a bit tedious and cumbersome. To arrive
at speed - flow characteristics and establish capacity
norms through microscopic simulation, one has to model
the flow of individual vehicles in a detailed manner for
which established simulation packages can be used. The
data collection and methodology followed for this phase
is explained in the succeeding sections.

5.2.1

Need for Microscopic Simulation

5.2.2

The traditional capacity estimation methods assume


homogeneous conditions and lane discipline, however, it
is not applicable for Indian conditions. In such
circumstances, roadway capacities could be either
underestimated or overestimated. Capacity estimation is
primarily depends on vehicular movements on the road
stretch and in this regard, lane change behaviour can
severely affect the movements. On Indian roads, vehicles
seldom observe lane discipline and make their own virtual
lanes instead of the demarcated physical lanes. The
conventional methods ignore vehicle movements and
interactions and these behaviours cannot be explained
which has great impact on speed - flow relationships and
capacity estimation. In the absence of accounting for such
situations, the output might be far from reality. As
described earlier, microscopic simulation considers each
and every vehicle movement on a roadway and hence
such a lane change behaviour and vehicle interactions
can be described. More realistic estimation of
speed - flow relationships can be achieved through
microscopic simulation system, which can lead to the
estimation of capacity with reasonable degree of
accuracy. This is because tremendous advancements that
have been brought forth with by deploying microscopic
simulation techniques for modelling transportation
systems. Such microscopic simulations are able to model
individual vehicles and pedestrians in a large area and it
is possible to estimate realistic speed - flow characteristics
and capacity considering all possible lane change
behaviour even under heterogeneous traffic conditions.
Further, these techniques are highly useful in estimating
the traffic characteristics under different traffic flow and
driver behaviour conditions, which cannot be observed

Data Collection

In order to develop a microscopic simulation model, the


traffic data was again collected on Delhi - Mathura
section of NH-2 near Hodal which is a four-lane divided
carriageway considered to develop speed - flow equations
through traditional method (S.No. 1 and 2 in Table 1).
This section was specifically chosen to check the
suitability of these two models namely microscopic
simulation and traditional models. The reconnaissance
survey was conducted on 23 rd March 2010 and the
videography survey was eventually conducted from
9.30 am to 2:00 pm on 25th March 2010 by capturing the
traffic plying during the morning and afternoon time
periods on both directions of travel.
5.2.3

Development of Microscopic Simulation


Model

The methodology followed for the microscopic simulation


is shown in the form of flow chart in Fig. 6. From the
Fig. 6, it can be observed that the data collection is the
first and foremost requirement for understanding
speed-flow characteristics on multi-lane highways. To
capture lane change behavior on these multi-lane high
speed corridors, videography method was adopted for
data collection. The recorded film was replayed on
television screen in the laboratory of CRRI, New Delhi
and the required data were decoded through manual
method. The vehicles were divided into ten categories
and the data extracted from video recording were Volume,
Space Mean Speed (SMS) and number of lane changes
by individual vehicles during every five minute time
interval. The video data on classified traffic volume counts,
SMS and lane change behavior were decoded in a

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synchronized fashion. Using this data, a model is


developed in VISSIM 4.10, a microscopic simulation
software. Then the model is appropriately calibrated and
validated using the observed data considering volume,
speed and number lane changes. Using the validated
simulation model, speed - flow relationships have been
developed under two scenarios namely 'with' random lane
change behavior (which is a common phenomenon on
multi-lane highways in India) and also by assuming
'without' lane change conditions. The roadway capacity
estimated under these two scenarios is used to assess
the impact of lane change as shown in Fig. 6.

compared. The base model development can be


summarized in the following steps:
1.

Developing base network.

2.

Defining model parameters.

3.

Calibrating the network.

4.

Validating the model.

Development of a network that accurately determines


the constraints of a road network is an important stage in
the modelling process. The basic key network building
components are: Links and Connectors. In the present
simulation model, links are created spanning for 130 m
representing the test section near Hodal on NH-2 for
both directions. However, a buffer link is provided for
buffering process of the network which is taken 100 m.
Both test section link and buffer links are appropriately
connected by connectors. Fig. 7 shows the links created
separately for Delhi - Hodal and Hodal - Delhi directions
in VISSIM.
As mentioned earlier, the test section selected on NH-2
is a four-lane divided carriageway with approximately
2.0 m paved shoulder and 0.5 m earthen shoulders.
Accordingly, the links are created in VISSIM with total
of four lanes on each link including two lanes of main
carriageway, one lane of paved shoulder and one lane of
earthen shoulder as shown in Fig. 7. During the
reconnaissance survey at the site, it was observed that
the majority of fast moving vehicles movements are using
the main carriageway and major proportion of slow moving
vehicles and some proportion of the two wheelers are
using the paved shoulders. By considering this
phenomenon, road links are created as shown in
Fig. 7.

Fig. 6

Methodology for Estimating Capacity Considering


Impact of Lane Change Behaviour

In microscopic simulation, a model which accurately


represents the existing situation is known as the 'Base
Model'. The base model is constructed by representing
the network area that was defined in the model scope
and using actual, observed traffic flow data. The validated
base model is used to develop a 'future year base model'
against which scenarios and design options can be

Fig. 7

Created Links with Main Carriageway and Shoulders for


Four-Lane Divided Carriageway in VISSIM

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HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS
5.2.3

Calibration of Microscopic Simulation Model

Calibration is a process of adjusting the model parameters,


network and vehicle demand to reflect and represent
observed data and/or observed site conditions to a

sufficient level to satisfy the model objectives. The


calibration process is explained in the form of flow chart
as shown in Fig. 8.

Fig. 8 Calibration Procedure Adopted in Development of Simulation Model

By giving the parameters listed in Fig. 8 as an input to


simulation model, simulation runs were carried out in order
to estimate the output. In this simulation model, the outputs
obtained are volume, speed of vehicles and number of
lane changes. Since the observed data on these
parameters were collected in the field for validation of
the developed simulation model. The comparison of
estimated values with observed values is carried out and
error is estimated. This iterative process of simulation
model calibration was carried out through the modification
of the various model parameters and simulation runs were
performed till the error is within the satisfactory level.
5.2.4

Validation of Microscopic Simulation Model

Validation is the process of checking the developed


simulation model in terms of predicted traffic performance
for road system against field measurements of traffic
performance such as traffic volumes, travel times,
average speeds, and lane changes. In the present study,
the calibration and validation process was carried out by
trial and error method. After carrying out many trials, the
prediction error in volume, speed and lane changes is

reduced to satisfactory level. The final validation results


for volume speed and lane change criteria are estimated
for Delhi to Hodal and Hodal to Delhi directions
separately. Fig. 9 and 10 shows the validation results of
traffic volume, speed and lane changes for Hodal to Delhi
and Delhi to Hodal directions, respectively.
From the Fig. 9, it can be observed that the error in
estimation of traffic volume is less than 10 per cent for
different vehicle types except in the case of buses and
bicycles on Hodal to Delhi direction whereas the overall
error in the estimation of traffic volume is almost zero
which represents the accuracy of the developed
simulation model. The comparison of observed and
estimated data of different vehicle speeds shows that
the error in vehicular speeds is ranging from 2 per cent
to 20 per cent for different vehicle types except in the
case of trucks (due to large variation in observed speeds
of trucks) which represents the developed simulation
model is reasonably accurate. The simulated lane changes
during each 5-minute time interval is also compared with
the observed lane change data and it can be observed

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from Fig. 9 that the overall error in predicting number of


lane changes made by different vehicle types is about 20
per cent in Hodal to Delhi direction which can also be
regarded to be reasonably accurate in reflecting the real
world conditions considering the traffic mix being
simulated is heterogeneous in nature and resorting to
random lane changes.

From Fig. 10, it can be seen that the error in estimation


of traffic volume is less than 10 per cent for different
vehicle types on Delhi to Hodal direction while the overall
error is about 1 per cent implying the effectiveness of
the calibrated model in replicating the ground conditions.
At the same time, it can be seen that the error in speed
prediction on Hodal to Delhi direction of NH-2 is found
to be ranging between 1 - 19 per cent except in the case
of cars and two wheelers which is about 30 per cent.
The high error in cars and two wheelers may be attributed
to the high influence of local conditions (such as median

Fig. 9

Fig. 10

Comparison of Observed and Estimated Traffic Volume,


Speed and Lane Changes (Hodal to Delhi Direction)

Comparison of Observed and Estimated Traffic Volume,


Speed and Lane Changes (Delhi to Hodal Direction)

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HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS
gap and roadside friction.) on Delhi to Hodal direction
acting as a major impediment, which is causing significant
reduction of observed speeds of cars and two wheelers
as compared to other direction.
On the other hand, the predictive capability of the model
in terms of lane changes in the case of different vehicle
types like two wheeler, auto rickshaw, small car, big car
and multi axle truck is less than 20 per cent error, whereas
the overall lane change error is only about 2 per cent on
Hodal to Delhi direction. From the above calibrated and
validated results, it can be inferred that the developed
simulation models are able to predict the vehicular
movements (i.e. flow, speed and lane changes) with
reasonable degree of accuracy under heterogeneous
traffic conditions for four-lane divided carriageways.
Based on the developed simulation models, the evolution
of speed - flow relationships is attempted and using the
same, the roadway capacity can be estimated.
5.2.5

Development of Speed - Flow Equations and


Roadway Capacity through Simulation

Using the developed simulation model, the speed data for


different vehicle is estimated for different traffic volume
conditions for four-lane divided carriageway. The
simulation runs are carried for following scenarios of
traffic volumes for estimating capacity:
a)

Observed Flow (ranging from 1000 to 1500


Vehicles/hr)

b)

Flow of 2000 Vehicles/hr

c)

Flow of 4000 Vehicles/hr

d)

Flow of 6000 Vehicles/hr

e)

Flow of 8000 Vehicles/hr

In the same way, the developed simulation model is


applied to estimate speeds of the vehicle for different
types of carriageway namely six-lane and eight-lane
divided carriageways. However, traffic flow up to 10000
vehicles/hr was considered for six-lane and eight-lane
divided carriageways. For this purpose, separate network
has been created by introducing extra lanes so as to
formulate six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageway
scenarios. The lane restrictions are also considered for

these carriageways same as that of four-lane divided


carriageways. However, the driving behaviour is kept
same as four-lane divided carriageway for six-lane and
eight-lane divided carriageway assuming that it will not
drastically change in spite of increase in the number of
lanes. These aspects would be further investigated by
observing real data on these carriageways as the desired
speed characteristics might be different on these
carriageways compared to four-lane divided
carriageways. This may be regarded as the limitation of
the present model and it is worthwhile to study this aspect
in future scope of the study. Considering the above flow
conditions, the simulation runs are made to estimate
speeds of different vehicles on four-lane, six-lane and
eight-lane divided carriageways. The estimated speed
data of the cars are plotted against given traffic flow
with linear equations. The developed linear speed - flow
equations speed-flow equations are having high goodnessof-fit as the R2 values are more than 0.9 for all the
carriageways, however, the intercept of the speed-flow
equation, which is also considered as free speed of the
vehicle is 99.96 km/hr, 97.0 km/hr and 96.35 km/hr, which
is slightly decreasing as the number of lanes increases
from four-lane to eight-lane divided carriageways
respectively. Further, the capacity of these carriageways
is calculated from these linear speed-flow equations by
assuming the fact that capacity would be occurring at
half of the free speed. Accordingly, half of the free speed
is substituted in the speed-flow equation to estimate
roadway capacity. From this exercise, the capacity is
estimated as 5,553 PCU/hour/Dir, 9,700 PCU/hour/Dir
and 14,160 PCU/hour/Dir for four-lane, six-lane and
eight-lane divided carriageways, respectively. Though the
fit of the speed-flow equation is very good, the estimated
free speed and capacities are not realistic especially in
the case of six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways.
Free speeds are under predicted and capacities are over
predicted as the slope of the equation line is very mild
which shows insignificant impact of traffic volume on
vehicle speeds. Since the linear method had produced
unrealistic values of capacities and free speeds, non-linear
method has been subsequently attempted. A non-linear
equation has been formulated from the second order

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polynomial equation and the final form of the equation


under non-linear form is as given below:
V = a1 + (a12 + a2 * F)0.5

...(3)

where, V is speed in km/hr,


F is flow in PCU/hr/dir
a1, a2 are parameters to be estimated
Using the estimated speed data of the cars and traffic
flows from the different simulation runs, the equation
shown in Eqn. (3) has been developed for four-lane,
six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways. A
comparison of speed-flow equations evolved for cars
through traditional and microscopic simulation approaches
are given in Table 12. To demonstrate the validity of
developed speed - flow equations through microscopic
simulation model, the estimated free speed which is the
intercept of the equations (at flow almost equal to 0
Vehicles/hr) are compared with the observed free speeds
(refer Table 3, 4 and 5) and presented in Fig. 11. The
above fig. illustrated the error ranges obtained from
microscopic simulation model by comparing with the
traditional model:
a)

Four-lane: 0.3 to 10 per cent (which is 6 to 34


per cent in the case of traditional model)

b)

Six-lane: 0.1 to 16 per cent (which is 3 to 31


per cent in case of traditional model)

c)

Eight-lane: 2 to 18 percent (which is 3 to 21


per cent in case of traditional model)

From the above results, it can be concluded that developed


speed - flow equations through simulation model has
significantly reduced the prediction error in free speeds
compared to traditional model except in the case of LCVs
and MAVs on eight-lane divided carriageway. The
occurrence of relative larger error for LCVs and MAVs
can be examined by conducting traffic studies and
calibrating the simulation model for eight-lane using

observed data on the field. From these results, it can be


noted that the developed microscopic simulation model is
able to predict the traffic phenomenon on multi-lane
highways more realistically compared to traditional model.
Thus the evolved roadway capacity through simulation
approach can be adjudged to be realistic for the
heterogeneous traffic conditions observed on multi-lane
divided carriageways. Using this evolved speed - flow
relationships, the roadway capacity is estimated as shown
in Fig. 12.
From the Fig. 12, it can be observed that the
speed-flow equations are having high goodness-of-fit as
the R2 values are about 0.77 for all the carriageways and
from this it can be said that that the developed
speed-flow equations can be used to predict the speed of
cars for given flow conditions with reasonable degree of
accuracy. Further, the capacities of the carriageways are
calculated based on the non-linear speed-flow equations
and from this exercise, the roadway capacity is estimated
as 5574 PCU/hour/dir, 7733 PCU/hour/dir and
9796 PCU/hour/dir for four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane
divided carriageways, respectively.
Based on the detailed analysis, it can be inferred that
both traditional method and microscopic simulation method
are estimating the comparable results in the case of
four-lane and eight-lane divided carriageway, however
traditional method is under predicting the capacity in case
of six-lane divided carriageway. This can be attributed to
the paucity of data used for model development in the
case of six-lane carriageways, whereas in the case of
microscopic simulation model, the speeds can be
estimated just by substituting for any flow conditions and
thus estimate the capacity thereafter. This is the biggest
advantage of the simulation model over the traditional
method. Hence, it can be concluded from this detailed
evaluation, that the microscopic simulation model is able
to predict the speeds and flow conditions and thereafter
roadway capacities were estimated with good degree of
statistical validity.

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HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS
Table 12 Comparison of Speed-Flow Equations of Cars for different Multi-lane Carriageways
S.
No.
1

Carriageway

Traditional Method
Uncongested

Four-lane divided

y=

Congested

Microscopic Simulation
Method (Non-linear)

y = 0.004x + 21.29

y = 47.633+(2268.931-

R = 0.887
Capacity=6,050
PCU/hour/dir

R = 0.861

0.407x)0.5
R = 0.761
Capacity=5,574
PCU/hour/dir

110.761

1 + 1.564 * x

6999.968 )

Six-lane divided

y = -0.011x + 112.3
R = 0.493
Capacity=6,400
PCU/hour/dir

y = 0.004x + 15.52
R = 0.646

y = 47.651+(2270.6370.294x)0.5
R = 0.769
Capacity=7,733
PCU/hour/dir

Eight-lane divided

y = -0.003x + 88.81
R = 0.851
Capacity=10,500
PCU/hour/dir

y = 0.002x + 32.91
R = 0.532

y = 47.676+(2273.0110.232x)0.5
R = 0.764
Capacity=9,796
PCU/hour/dir

Fig. 11

Comparison of Error between Observed and Estimated


Free Speeds through Traditional and Microscopic
Simulation Models

Fig. 12

Roadway Capacity of Four-Lane, Six-Lane and Eight-Lane


Divided Carriageways Evolved through Microscopic
Simulation Model

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Design Service Volume

Design Service Volume (DSV) is defined as the maximum


hourly volume at which vehicles can reasonably be
expected to traverse a point or uniform section of a lane
or roadway during a given time period under the prevailing
roadway, traffic and control conditions while maintaining
a designated Level of Service (LOS). The flow conditions
at LOS - C, D and E involve significant vehicle interaction
leading to lower level of comfort and convenience. In
contrast, LOS - B represents a stable flow zone which
affords reasonable freedom to drivers in terms of speed
selection and manoeuvres within the traffic stream. Under
normal circumstances, therefore, the use of LOS - B is
considered desirable for the design of rural highways. At
this level, volume of traffic will be around 0.5 times the
capacity and this is taken as the DSV for the purpose of

determining the carriageway width. The DSV values are


estimated from the capacity values (presented in Fig. 11)
considering different Peak Hour Ratios of 7, 8, 9 and 10
percent. The estimated DSV values expressed in PCUs/
day/direction are presented in Table 13.
From a close look at Table 13, the following inferences
can be drawn:
a)

The DSV under LOS - B and LOS - C of


four-lane divided carriageway is ranging from
22296 to 47777 PCUs/day/direction for different
peak hour ratios of 7 to 10 percent. In case of
six-lane divided carriageway it is ranging from
30932 to 66283 PCUs/day/direction and for eight
lane divided carriageway, it is ranging from 39184
to 83966 PCUs/day/direction for different peak
hour ratios of 7 to 10 percent.

Table 13 DSV for Four-Lane, Six-Lane and Eight Lane Divided Carriageways
Peak Hour Ratio
(per cent)

b)

c)

Design Service Volume (PCU/day/direction)


Four-lane

Six-lane

Eight-lane

LOS - B

LOS - C

LOS - B

LOS - C

LOS - B

LOS - C

31,851

47,777

44,189

66,283

55,977

83,966

27,870

41,805

38,665

57,998

48,980

73,470

24,774

37,160

34,369

51,554

43,538

65,307

10

22,296

33,444

30,932

46,398

39,184

58,776

On multi-lane highways, it will normally not be


desirable to adopt LOS - C. Therefore, the DSV
values corresponding to LOS - C can be taken
as the holding capacity of four-lane divided
carriageways for upgrading the facility to
six-lane divided carriageway. Similarly, the DSV
values obtained corresponding to LOS - C can
be taken as the holding capacity for upgrading
the six-lane divided carriageway to eight-lane
divided carriageway.
In this regard, the DSV values arrived in this study
can be regarded to be handy tool for the

estimation of capacity of multi lane highways and


useful in determining the decisions to upgrade
the highways in terms of increasing road width.
6

IMPACT
OF
LANE
CHANGE
BEHAVIOUR ON ROADWAY CAPACITY

As described earlier, lane change behaviour significantly


influences the traffic movement on the road section. Due
to that there might be an impact on the roadway capacity.
In view of this, it is proposed to study the impact of lane
change behaviour on roadway capacity. To find out impact
of lane change behaviour, traffic is simulated by not

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

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HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS
allowing any lane change in the selected section of the
road. To carry out such exercise in VISSIM 4.10, it is
necessary to develop a separate road network in order to
restrict lane changes. In the case of without lane change
situation, connector type of links is used as lane change
restriction zone. Before that 100 m buffer link is provided
for smooth entrance of the vehicles.
Using the developed simulation model, the speed data for
different vehicle is estimated for different traffic volume
conditions for four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided
carriageway under without lane change behaviour. The
simulation runs are carried for different scenarios of
traffic volumes for estimating capacity namely Observed
Flow (ranging from 1000 to 1500 Veh/hr), Flow of 2000
Veh/hr, 4000 Veh/hr, 6000 Veh/hr and 8000 Veh/hr.
Considering these different flow conditions, the simulation
runs are formulated to estimate speeds of different
vehicles on four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided
carriageways. Using the estimated speed data of the cars
and traffic flows from the different simulation runs, the
equation shown in Eqn. (3) has been calibrated for
four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways
under 'without' lane change behaviour conditions and they
are given in Table 14. For comparison purpose, the
equations with lane change behaviour situation are also
shown in Table 14. The estimated speed data of the cars
are plotted against given traffic flow with non-linear
equation under without lane change behaviour condition
as shown in Fig. 13 for four-lane, six-lane and
eight-lane divided carriageways.
From the Table 14 and Fig. 13, it can be observed that
the speed-flow equations exhibit moderate goodness-offit as the R2 values are ranging from 0.56 to 0.65 for
varying carriageway widths and from this it can be said
that the developed speed - flow equations can be used to
predict the speed of cars for given flow conditions with
reasonable level of authenticity. However, the estimated

free speed of the vehicle from the equation (at flow = 0


Veh/hr) is around 97.0 km/hr, which is almost same for
all type of carriageways ranging from four-lane to
eight-lane. The free speed of cars under 'without' lane
change condition has slightly increased compared to
allowing of random lane change.
This aspect can be attributed to the random lane change
resorted by the slow moving vehicles and thereby
obstructing the flow of fast moving vehicles under the
lane change conditions which is completely absent under
'without' lane change conditions. Further, the capacities
of the carriageways have been evolved from these
non-linear speed-flow equations under without lane
change behaviour condition and from this exercise, the
capacity is estimated as 5504 PCU/hour/dir, 7508 PCU/
hour/dir and 8941 PCU/hour/dir for four-lane, six-lane
and eight-lane divided carriageways, respectively.
The comparison of predicted roadway capacities under
with and without lane change conditions are shown in
Fig. 14.
From Fig. 14, it can be observed that roadway capacity
of different carriageways under 'without' lane change
behaviour has reduced marginally (about 3 per cent) in
case of four-lane and six-lane divided carriageways
whereas, in the case of eight-lane divided carriageway,
the roadway capacity has reduced significantly about 9
per cent. From this analysis it can be inferred that the
lane change behaviour significantly influences the
vehicular movements on a road section and thus affecting
the roadway capacity. At the same time, it is to be noted
that though the imposition of restriction of lane change
behaviour reduces the roadway capacity ranging from 3
per cent to 9 per cent; it improves average free speeds
marginally coupled with enhancing the safety situation
as the interactions amongst vehicles during the lane
change would be drastically curtailed especially, on these
multi-lane highways.

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Table 14 Summary of Speed-Flow Relationships of Cars for different Multi-lane Carriageways


under 'With' and 'Without' Lane Change Behaviour
S. No.

Carriageway

With Lane Change Behaviour

Without Lane Change Behaviour

Four-lane divided

y = 47.633+(2268.931-0.407x)0.5
R = 0.761
Free Speed = 95.3 Km/hr
Capacity=5,574 PCU/hour/dir

y = 48.843+(2385.614-0.441x)0.5
R = 0.645
Free Speed = 97.7 Km/hr
Capacity=5,408 PCU/hour/dir

Six-lane divided

y = 47.651+(2270.637-0.294x)0.5
R = 0.769
Free Speed = 95.3 Km/hr
Capacity=7,733 PCU/hour/dir

y = 48.824+(2383.749-0.318x)0.5
R = 0.563
Free Speed = 97.7 Km/hr
Capacity=7,508 PCU/hour/dir

Eight-lane divided

y = 47.676+(2273.011-0.232x)0.5
R = 0.764
Free Speed = 95.4 Km/hr
Capacity=9,796 PCU/hour/dir

y = 48.508+(2353.067-0.263x)0.5
R = 0.573
Free Speed = 97.0 Km/hr
Capacity=8,941 PCU/hour/dir

(a) Four-Lane Divided Carriageway

(b) Six-Lane Divided Carriageway

(c) Eight-Lane Divided Carriageway


Fig. 13 Non-Linear Speed- Flow Relationship of Cars and Roadway Capacity Under Without Lane Change Behaviour

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

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HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS
higher freedom for vehicular movements might
have aided in attaining substantial increase in
desired speeds and thus resulting in enhanced
free speeds.

Fig. 14

Impact of Lane Change Behaviour on Roadway Capacity


of Four-Lane, Six-Lane and Eight-Lane Divided
Carriageways

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, free speed profiles and speed - flow


equations for different vehicle types for varying types of
multi-lane highways has been established for the first time
in the country based on traditional and microscopic
simulation models and subsequently roadway capacity
has been estimated. Further, the lane change behaviour
of different vehicle types has been extensively studied
and its impact on roadway capacity has been critically
evaluated on multi-lane highways. Finally, the DSV for
varying types of divided carriageways has been evolved
for multi-lane highways in India encompassing four-lane,
six-lane and eight-lane with reasonable degree of
authenticity for the prevailing heterogeneous traffic
conditions. The conclusions drawn from the above studies
are summarized below:
a)

The mean free speeds of different vehicle types


on eight-lane are higher when compared to
four-lane and six-lane divided carriageways. Free
speeds of two wheelers and cars marginally
increased from four-lane to six-lane while the
increase is somewhat significant from six-lane
to eight-lane. This can be attributed to the
achievement of their desired speeds on four-lane
divided carriageway itself; hence there is
insignificant improvement of speeds on six-lane
carriageway. However, the addition of one more
lane on eight-lane divided carriageway offering

b)

Free speeds of heavy vehicles and autos


significantly increased from four-lane to six-lane
while marginally increased from six-lane to
eight-lane. This can be attributed to the above
vehicle types not able to attain their desired speed
levels on four-lane divided whereas on six-lane
divided carriageway the presence of additional
lane is helping in achieving significant increase
in free speed from four-lane to six-lane. However,
increase in free speeds is negligible on eight-lane
as compared to six lane carriageways. As auto
and heavy vehicles have achieved their desired
speed levels on six-lane itself, there is no impact
of eight-lane divided carriageway though it offers
higher LOS for vehicle movements compared to
six and four lane divided carriageways.

c)

The first ever attempt of segregating speed - flow


data into uncongested and congested areas has
been successfully accomplished in the present
study and subsequently roadway capacities has
been estimated through traditional model.

d)

Further, a critical evaluation of the speed-flow


equations and roadway capacities through
traditional model and microscopic simulation
model has been undertaken. The study revealed
that the roadway capacities estimated through
microscopic simulation approach (2450 - 2790
PCU/hr/Lane) in this study has replicated ground
conditions more realistically for varying types of
multi-lane carriageways compared to traditional
approach.

e)

The present study affirms that the adoption


(through developing adjustment factors) of the
roadway capacities determined for developed
world scenarios would not yield realistic results.
At the same time, it can be inferred that the
roadway capacity evolved in the present study

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are comparable with the study results obtained
in a developing country like Indonesia i.e. 2300
PCU/hr/Lane (Bang et. al., 1997). Further, this
study has reiterated reduction of roadway capacity
in terms of PCU/hour/lane with increase in the
number of lanes, which is consistent with the study
results arrived for a developing country, like, China
(Yang and Zhang, 2005).

f)

The simulation study carried out in this paper has


substantiated the fact that the lane change
behavior significantly influences the vehicular
movements on a road section and thus affecting
the roadway capacity. It can be observed from
this study that the roadway capacity of different
carriageways under 'without' lane change
behavior has reduced marginally (about 3 per
cent) in case of four-lane and six-lane divided
carriageways whereas in the case of eight-lane
divided carriageway, the roadway capacity has
reduced significantly about 9 per cent. At the
same time, it is to be noted that though the
imposition of restriction of lane change behavior
reduces the roadway capacity ranging from 3
per cent to 9 per cent; it improves average free
speeds marginally coupled with enhancing the
safety situation due to less vehicular interactions.

g)

On plain terrains, the DSV under LOS - B and


LOS - C of four-lane divided carriageway is
ranging from 22296 to 47777 PCUs/day/
direction for different peak hour ratios of 7 to
10 percent. Similarly, in case of six-lane divided
carriageway it is ranging from 30932 to 66283
PCUs/day/direction, whereas on eight lane
divided carriageways, it is ranging from 39184 to
83966 PCUs/day/direction for different peak
hour ratios of 7 to 10 percent on plain terrains.

h)

On multi-lane highways, it will normally not be


desirable to adopt LOS - C. Therefore, the DSV
values corresponding to LOS - C can be taken
as the holding capacity of four-lane divided
carriageways for upgrading the facility to

six-lane divided carriageway. Similarly, the DSV


values obtained corresponding to LOS - C can
be taken as the holding capacity for upgrading
the six-lane divided carriageway to eight-lane
divided carriageway. In a nutshell, the DSV values
arrived in this study can be regarded as a handy
tool for the estimation of capacity of varying types
of multi-lane highways on plain terrain and also
useful for setting the timeline for capacity
augmentation as well.
7.1

Limitations and Future Scope

It may be noted that the driver behaviour has been


calibrated for the parameters defined through the VISSIM
software taking into account the traffic flow and road
conditions prevalent on a typical four-lane divided
carriageway on plain terrain considering the
heterogeneous traffic conditions and the lane change
behaviour as observed in the field. Further, the driving
behaviour observed on four-lane divided carriageways is
assumed to exist on six-lane and eight-lane divided
carriageway as well and therefore this model has been
applied for these multi-lane divided carriageways. At the
same time, this aspect needs to be investigated by
observing actual traffic behaviour on six / eight divided
highways as the observed free speed characteristics are
higher (refer Fig. 4) on such carriageways compared to
four-lane divided carriageways. As mentioned earlier, the
number of six-lane divided carriageway road sections
considered in this study is 3, whereas eight lane divided
carriageway considered is only 1. Therefore, efforts are
being made to include typical test sections for free speed
and speed - flow data collection on the inter city
expressways, like, the Mumbai - Pune expressway (which
would enable to assess the roadway capacity on rolling
and hilly terrain road sections for multi lane highways in
India) and Ahmedabad - Vaododara expressway as part
of the ongoing study of CRRI titled, "Development of
Road User Cost Models for High Speed Corridors".
After accomplishing studies on these expressways, the
study results obtained for six-lane and eight-lane divided
carriageways can be refined. Considering the above

Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010

CRITICAL EVALUATION OF ROADWAY CAPACITY OF MULTI-LANE HIGH SPEED CORRIDORS UNDER 263
HETEROGENEOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS THROUGH TRADITIONAL AND MICROSCOPIC SIMULATION MODELS
inherent limitations in this study, a few of the related
avenues for further work are listed below:
a)

b)

c)

The geographical transferability of the developed


simulation model developed in this study can be
tested through collection of traffic data on
four-lane divided carriageways on plain terrain
road sections spread over the country.
Similarly, the suitability of the model for application
on six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways
can be further examined in detail through
collection of traffic data on such types of
carriageways on plain terrain spread across the
country.
As mentioned earlier, the lane change behavioral
aspects of the drivers has been studied only on
four-lane divided carriageways and the same has
been applied, while carrying out simulation runs
on six-lane and eight-lane divided carriageways.
Therefore, it is worthwhile to carry out research
studies aimed at assessing the phenomenon of
lane change behavior occurring on six-lane and
eight-lane divided carriageways. Based on the
enumerated number of lane changes on six-lane
and eight-lane land divided carriageways,
simulation model can be refined and thus estimate
the lane change behavior more accurately, which
can be further applied to assess its impact on
roadway capacity of these highways.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Authors are thankful to the technical services rendered
by Mr. Sher Singh, Mr. S. K. Biswas, Mr. Anand Kumar
Srivatsava and Mr. Fida Hussain during the field studies
of this study is gratefully acknowledged. The analysis
work carried out by Mr. Mayur Patel, Ms. N. Sabita and
Mr. Dhaval Barot and also the ongoing research studies
by Ms. Himani Patel, Mr. Mahesh Solanki and Ms. Deepa
as part of their dissertation works under the guidance of
couple of authors is highly acknowledged.

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Journal of the Indian Roads Congress, October-December 2010