Study Details

Study Title: Effects of the Open Road Tolling on Safety Performance of Freeway Mainline Toll Plazas

Authors: Yang, Ozbay, and Bartin

Publication Date:JAN, 2012

Abstract: Advances of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies promoted the implementation of open road tolling (ORT) on tolled freeways worldwide. This new tolling solution converts existing barrier tollbooths to express lanes capable of collecting tolls at high-speeds. ORT has demonstrated numerous benefits in reducing traffic congestion and air pollution. However, effects of ORT on safety are still not clear, as most of ORT systems have only been operated for a relatively short period of time. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the safety impacts of ORT by studying locations where such tolling solution was recently deployed on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey. Multiple-year crash data at the toll plazas before-after the implementation of the ORT systems were used for analysis. Full Bayes methodology is employed to estimate crash frequency models as a function of traffic and toll plaza configurations. These models were used to estimate the crash frequency assuming that the ORT systems were not installed. Then, these estimations were compared with the observed number of crashes occurred after the deployment of the ORT systems. Individual comparisons show that crash reductions are observed at most of the toll plazas. The overall comparison shows that crashes at locations where ORT systems were deployed are decreased by about 24 percent after deployment of these systems. It can thus be concluded that the use of ORT is a beneficial solution towards improving toll road safety. From an implementation point of view, the analyses results indicate that special attention should be paid to operational elements such as signage, diversion and merge designs of the ORT systems.

Study Citation: Yang, H., K. Ozbay, B. Bartin, "Effects of the Open Road Tolling on Safety Performance of Freeway Mainline Toll Plazas." TRB 91st Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers. Washington, D.C., 2012.

Study Report: Download the Study Report Document

CMFs Associated With This Study

Category: Advanced technology and ITS

Countermeasure: Convert existing barrier tollbooths to open road tolling (ORT) facility

CMF CRF(%)QualityCrash TypeCrash SeverityRoadway TypeArea Type
0.76242 StarsNot specifiedPrincipal Arterial Other Freeways and ExpresswaysNot specified