This study investigates the prediction and mitigation of the phenomenon of traffic flow breakdown when affected by varying weather conditions. First, the probability of breakdown occurrence is examined using a survival analysis approach to obtain distributions of pre-breakdown flow rates under different weather conditions. Second, pre-breakdown flow rate distributions were applied in breakdown prediction for the implementation of breakdown mitigation strategies. In the first part, a set of data from the network of Kansas City was used to demonstrate the applicability of the Kaplan–Meier Product Limit method to estimating the breakdown probability under various weather conditions. Then, using simulated data on the network of Chicago, the K-M approach was used again to obtain survival likelihood distributions, which in turn yield breakdown probability, for 13 different weather cases as combinations of weather categories for different levels of visibility, rain, and snow precipitation. In the second part, continuing with the simulated data, dynamic speed limits (DSL) were applied to demonstrate the effectiveness of the prediction method presented. A sensitivity analysis of the threshold probability and upstream distance at which DSL should be implemented was performed for clear and inclement weather conditions. In clear weather the performance of the strategy is better at a lower probability threshold and farther upstream location, whereas in inclement weather the performance is better at a lower probability threshold and closer upstream location. The paper demonstrates the effect of changing weather conditions on the likelihood of breakdown occurrence and the implementation of breakdown mitigation strategies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering