Findings from Texas: Five Years of Research on Managed Lanes
Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University System, College Station, TX
Managed Lanes, Freeway, Operations
Texas cities are currently considering the managed lane concept for major freeway projects. As a new concept of operating freeways in a flexible and possibly dynamic manner, the managed lane concept 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 TxDOT is proposing managed lane operations. 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, and 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 its jurisdiction. This document presents the critical research results obtained over the five years of this project.