Friday, September 21, 2007

Transportation Seminar and Cookie Time: Freeway Congestion is Not So Good

After this week's Cookie Time, from 3:30 to 4:00 in the ITS Library, the Transportation Seminar will commence in the Bechtel Engineering Center, Room 240. We will be regaled this week with a talk, Freeway Congestion, Ramp Metering, and Tolls, given by Prof. Pravin Varaiya. The abstract-
The Cell Transmission Model of a freeway with multiple origins and destinations is used to compare four schemes to reduce freeway congestion: (R) ramp control only; (T) one lane is tolled and ramps are uncontrolled; (B) bottlenecks are tolled and ramps are uncontrolled; (RB) ramps are controlled and bottlenecks are tolled. In the base case no ramps are metered and there are no tolls. It is found that (T) is inefficient and likely to leave all travelers worse off than in the base case; (R), (B) and (RB) can achieve efficient freeway utilization; (B) can eliminate queues, but has adverse spatial and equity side effects; (RB) minimizes these side effects. (RB) is likely to be much less costly to implement and maintain than (T) or (B).

Prof. Varaiya holds the Nortel Networks Distinguished Professorship in our very own Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. Having previously taught also in the Department of Economics and heading the PATH program, he currently studies communication networks, transportation, and hybrid systems. If you miss this talk you will definitely look like a sucker.

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