Several states have introduced service patrol programs to curb the growing adverse impacts of freeway incidents. An efficient patrol program configuration design is needed to ensure appropriate resource allocation. This research seeks to devise a scheme for determining optimally such system characteristics as hours of operation, fleet and crew sizes, dispatching policies, areas of operation, and routing patterns, so that the efficacy of the program is maximized. The interaction of randomly occurring incidents with time-varying traffic adds to the complexity of the problem. The problem is solved using dynamic simulation approaches combined with optimization techniques to incorporate the non-linear impact of incidents on traffic. Simulation approaches are utilized to replicate the operation of response services, whereas optimization techniques are incorporated to select cost-effective system parameters. A generalized framework is developed that can be used to design new freeway patrol programs and improve existing ones. As an example application of the proposed tool, the case of the Hoosier Helper Program in northwest Indiana, is studied in detail.

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incident response, Hoosier Helper, freeway service patrol, optimal system design, incident management, congestion management, SPR-2126

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Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

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