Publication Detail

Incidents, Lane Closures, and Rapid Incident Response: Congestion and Emissions Analysis


Research Report

Suggested Citation:
Koenig, Brett E., Cameron Yee, Randall L. Guensler, Paul P. Jovanis (1994) Incidents, Lane Closures, and Rapid Incident Response: Congestion and Emissions Analysis. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-94-02

This research evaluates the congestion and emissions impacts of two incident management strategies: the Freeway Service Patrol (FSP), a fleet of roving tow trucks that rapidly respond to freeway incidents and clear them from the roadway; and lane closure practices, strategies used by traffic management teams to clear severe accidents from the roadway in a way that minimizes freeway congestion. The methodology employed involved establishing a database of incidents occurring on the I-10 Smart Corridor, assessing how these incidents are cleared from the roadway, and modeling the FSP and lane closure practices using FREQ 11, a deterministic freeway corridor model used for traffic operations analysis.

The database established revealed that when the FSP discovers and clears vehicle disablements on patrol it decreases the duration by over half compared to other removal services. When this difference was modeled on FREQ 11, the results show positive congestion and emission impacts from the Roving FSP's quick removal of lane blocking incidents. Comparing standard lane closure practices (modeled by closing one lane to clear an accident) to an alternative method (modeled by closing two lanes for a shorter duration) reveals that congestion and emissions is almost always minimized using the standard practices.
Prepared for the Mobile Sources Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee under the AB2766 Program.