How do ramp meters – or signals – at freeway on-ramps improve traffic flow?
A 13: Without ramp meters, many cars try to merge on to the freeway at once. Drivers on the freeway slow down to let the cars enter, and these slower speeds quickly cause backups. If cars enter the freeway in a spaced, controlled manner, they merge easier and with less disruption to mainline traffic. A short wait on the ramp allows drivers to increase their average freeway speed and shorten freeway travel times. By regulating the flow of traffic entering the freeways during peak traffic hours, the overall flow of traffic on the freeways will be smoother. This regulated flow means we can accommodate more vehicles per hour on the freeways, improve commute times, and provide a higher degree of safety.