Ramp metering is a proactive approach to traffic management designed to space out traffic entering the interstate. This helps to reduce congestion on the interstate and improves safety by lowering the numbers of crashes that occur at the ramps. The technology been used successfully in several other urban areas around the country for years.
Overview and Benefits of Ramp Metering:
- Ramp meters are used as a method for managing the traffic merging onto the interstate.
- Ramp meters are located along interstate on-ramps, and they look and function exactly as a traffic signal does, but with shorter signal times.
- The ramp meters will be placed at a location along the on-ramp that will allow vehicles to get up to speed to safely merge onto the interstate.
- Not only does ramp metering provide time savings for commuters, but it also helps to improve the safety of a corridor by reducing crashes at on-ramps by an average of 30 percent.
- The ramp meter signals will stop vehicles for about four seconds on the on-ramp and allow drivers to access the interstate in an orderly and evenly-spaced fashion, sometimes described as a "zipper effect.
- More than 20 states in the nation use ramp meters. DOTD currently has 16 ramp meters installed along the I-12 corridor in Baton Rouge, the first in Louisiana.
I-12 Ramp Meters:
In June 2010, DOTD began installing 16 ramp meters along the I-12 corridor from Baton Rouge to Livingston Parish in order to protect the state's investment on the Geaux Wider Program, improve travel times and increase safety by reducing the potential for vehicle crashes at merge points.
The ramp meters operate exclusively during peak travel times, 6-9 a.m. for westbound on-ramps and
3-7 p.m. for eastbound on-ramps, and during special events or incidents.
Since the meters were installed, there have been 12 percent fewer crashes and travel times have improved by 17 percent. All 16 of the ramp meters were fully functional in summer 2012.
U.S. 90 Ramp Meters in New Orleans:
DOTD is in the process of developing a project to install ramp meters along the U.S. 90 corridor in New Orleans. For more information, and to see where they will be installed, visit: http://1.usa.gov/1nkFZg5.