Ramp meter

Ranked #104 on the list Best Measuring Instrument of All Time

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About Ramp meter

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A ramp meter, ramp signal or metering light is a device, usually a basic traffic light or a two-section signal (red and green only, no yellow) light together with a signal controller, that regulates the flow of traffic entering freeways according to current traffic conditions. It is the use of traffic signals at freeway on-ramps to manage the rate of automobiles entering the freeway. Ramp metering systems have proved to be successful in decreasing traffic congestion and improving driver safety. Ramp meters are claimed to reduce congestion (increase speed and volume) on freeways by reducing demand and by breaking up platoons of cars. Two variations of demand reduction are commonly cited; one being access rate, the other diversion. Ramp meters are installed to restrict the total flow entering the freeway, temporarily storing it on the ramps, a process called "access rate reduction." In this way, the traffic flow does not exceed the freeway's capacity. Another rationale for installing ramp meters is the argument that they prevent congestion and break up "platoons" of cars. A platoon is a group of vehicles travelling in proximity, such as a green wave released by an arterial traffic

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