Transportation Engineering Case Study
City Council voted 7-1 to banish trucks from Hampton Boulevard and other city streets during certain times of the day - Transportation Engineering Case Study introduction. The move is an effort to bring relief to neighborhoods besieged by persistent traffic jams on the road, which narrows to four confined lanes as it approaches the Midtown Tunnel. Yet many residents said the city did not go far enough. “Most of the container truck traffic is heading to or from Norfolk International Terminals. Virginia Port Authority leaders say a ban would increase costs for goods because truckers would be forced to go miles out of their way.
And a truck ban may not impact overall traffic that much. ” (Wavy news 10). Our group conducted an analysis based on data given to us from a recent study, which agrees that the ban on trucks really doesn’t impact Level of Service on Hampton Boulevard. We chose to look at the stretch of Hampton Boulevard from 43rd Street to 49th Street. We used the highway capacity manual software to analyze these intersections. As you can see from the chart, The Level of Service on Hampton Boulevard is not affected by the truck restrictions.
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We used the data provided and ran the software once each in the AM and PM using 6% trucks (no truck restrictions), 1% trucks (restrictions) and once with a 5% volume increase. The volume increase was used in conjunction with 1% trucks, to simulate that the restricted trucks had been replaced with cars. We found that the Truck restriction made no difference to level of service. It is important to note that the determination of level of service is based on the approach delay. Figure 1 shows that Hampton Boulevard has an acceptable level of service. [pic] Figure 1. The minor cross- roads, i. e. 43rd street, are where the breakdown is.
All of the minor roads have level of service C or worse. Figure 2. shows an example report from the HCM software out put. [pic] Figure 2 Looking at the v/c ratio would lead me to believe that the east/west direction is in good shape for a level of service A condition. It would also appear that the north/south corridor is also LOS A. However if you are driving on Hampton Boulevard you may not feel the same. It is our belief that the minor roads do not really experience these low LOS’s. Part of the reason we believe the minor streets look so congested on paper is because of the timing plan being utilized.
The minor roads only receive between 2% to 10% of the cycle length. The Approach delay is going to put the minor road on LOS D even with no volume, because of the timing plan being used. This stretch of Hampton Boulevard being analyzed also runs in front of the ODU campus. This creates a unique problem, in that the pedestrians use up the majority of the green time for the minor roads. It also is deceiving to think that Hampton Boulevard has an LOS of A during peak hours. But, again notice the green time allotted to Hampton Boulevard.
The short approach delay is mainly due to the extremely short green time allotted for the minor roads. We would recommend that the city conduct another study and look more closely at the actual traffic conditions. They should use the data and analyze it using a variety of methods to get a more accurate picture of actual traffic patterns along that corridor. We would recommend changing the timing plan and perhaps give more consideration to the pedestrian crossings. We would also recommend that the truck restriction continue, but look at different hours of restrictions and see what yields the best results.