Ramp Metering

Metering of highway onramps serves a few purposes. It allows queue-jumping for favored classes of traffic (carpools, police). A meter also reduces the arrival rate of vehicles joining an already-congested road, to reduce the ratio of merging cars to through cars.

The final purpose is a bit less intuitive: it serves to divert traffic to other routes. A driver might choose a different route entirely rather than wait in a lengthy metering queue. This diversion reduces demand on the mainline road, allowing a greater through capacity.


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