Compendium on Good Practices of the Efficient Operation of the Road Network

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TC-3 - Compendium on Good Practices of the Efficient Operation of the Road Network.pdf
Attaining congestion-free and smooth road traffic supporting a vital and environmentally-friendly society is a common challenge among the REAAA member countries. From the viewpoint of making the most out of a limited budget and human resources, the efficient operation of existing road networks fully utilizing ITS and other innovations is expected to become increasingly important.

This Compendium presents 21 examples of good practices addressing the challenges that member counties face in terms of the efficient operation of the road network, the measures taken, and the effects or outcome of the measures. In particular, the Compendium highlights how ITS and other innovations have been effective in optimizing traffic flow and in increasing capacity at roundabouts, ramps and toll plazas, thereby alleviating congestion. Through the various good practices contained in this Compendium, it is clear that the greatest  challenge the Asian and Australasian countries have in common is the achievement of optimum traffic flow on road networks that achieve mobility of the road users.

It is also clear that each country has taken various measures to address this challenge, taking into consideration unique environment and operation conditions. Some common measures have been implemented, however, which have demonstrated significant effects in terms of smoothing traffic
flow. These measures include:

  • enabling drivers to make better travel choices by providing traffic information (Australia, Japan, and Singapore)
  • controlling traffic flow by toll incentives (i.e. road pricing) (Japan and Singapore)
  • optimizing traffic flow using traffic signals adjusted to real-time traffic demand (Australia, Brunei, Korea, New Zealand, and Singapore)
  • improving traffic flow at toll plazas through the ETC system (Japan and Malaysia)
  • enhancing road networking effects through the development of road structures (Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, The Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand).

Although some countries noted that the rapid increase in traffic has been hindering the effective management of traffic flow, only one country (Singapore) has introduced a drastic measure to cope with this matter. Vehicle ownership in Singapore is managed by a vehicle quota system that has kept the net increase in the number of vehicles at 3% (per year) for many years since its inception in 1990. It has recently been revised to 1.5% per year, for 3 years, from 2009.
In terms of the efficient operation of the road network, road traffic policies and measures are implemented with various objectives such as reducing travel time and associated road user costs, improving safety, and improving the environment. Among these objectives, it is suggested that measures be taken to pursue the optimization of traffic flow because optimum traffic flow will also lead to the solution to all the issues. Furthermore, it should be noted that there is no single, simple solution toward achieving optimum traffic flow and that a range of measures may need to be implemented to further enhance the effects.

As the technology for road development and traffic operation is rapidly progressing, a framework needs to be established which enables member countries to share information on the latest technology created, or implemented into practice, and to develop the most effective measures derived from this information.

It is recommended that a web-based database be developed which contains examples of good practice that each member country believes can be utilized as a basis for the development of good policy related to road development projects or traffic operation in the future. Examples of good practice will be listed along with details of the person who countries can contact for further details.

The REAAA Secretariat would maintain the database and ask member countries to update their existing good practices and add new ones periodically (i.e. each year).

for full text, please download the report Pdf icon2.png here