Year 1 Annual Report of Progress: Operating Freeways with Managed Lanes
College Station, TX: Texas Transportation Institute
Texas cities are currently considering the managed lane concept on major freeway projects. As a new concept of operating freeways in a flexible and possibly dynamic manner, it has a limited experience base, thereby creating a knowledge vacuum in emerging key areas that are critical for effective implementation. Complicating the effort is the rapid progress of several freeway improvement projects in Texas in which managed lane operations are proposed. The operational experience both in Texas and nationally for managed lanes is minimal, particularly for extensive freeway reconstruction projects. The managed lane projects currently in existence involve retrofits of existing freeway sections within highly fixed access, geometric, operational configurations, and established eligibility considerations. There are few projects in operation from which to draw experiential data on the implementation of managed lane freeway sections with complex or multiple operational strategies, including variations in eligible vehicle user groups by time of day. The objectives of this project are to investigate the complex and interrelated issues surrounding the safe and efficient operation of managed lanes using various operating strategies and to develop a managed lanes manual to help the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) make informed planning, design, and operational decisions when considering these facilities for their, jurisdiction. This document summarizes the activities of the first year of this multiyear project, including a comprehensive review of current practice and state-of-the-practice across the country and the hosting of a Managed Lanes Symposium. It highlights the accomplishments to date, provides a status report of efforts underway, and outlines planned activities for the coming year.