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CE- 444

Traffic Engineering &

Safety
Lecture 8 (A)
Shock Waves

School of Civil & Environmental Engineering
National University of Science &Technology
(NUST)
Example of a Shock Wave
At a Stop
T = t1 sec

Traffic is flowing normal

Flow, q = 500 veh/hr Conc, k = 10 veh/mi

Norman W. Garrick
Example of a Shock Wave
At a Stop
T = t2 sec

Flagman stops first vehicle in the queue

Shockwave

Norman W. Garrick
Example of a Shock Wave
At a Stop
T = t3 sec
More vehicles have joined the queue
The shockwave have moved backwards

Shockwave 1

State 1 State 2
q = 500 veh/hr q = 0 veh/hr
k = 10 veh/mi k = 260 veh/mi

On either side of the shockwave there are two different state of flow

Norman W. Garrick
Example of a Shock Wave
At a Stop
T = t4 sec
Flagman releases queue

Shockwave 1 Shockwave 2

State 1 State 2 State 3

q = 500 veh/hr q = 0 veh/hr q = 1000 veh/hr
k = 10 veh/mi k = 260 veh/mi k = 110 veh/mi

There is now a second shockwave and a third state of flow -

the flow state for traffic released from the queue
Norman W. Garrick
Distance-Time Diagram for Shock Wave

Distance

X
Shockwave 1

Shockwave 2

Time
Norman W. Garrick
Calculation of Shockwave Travel

usw = (q2-q1) / (k2-k1)

Shockwave 1

State 1 State 2
q = 500 veh/hr q = 0 veh/hr
k = 10 veh/mi k = 260 veh/mi

The speed of the shockwave can be calculated using the above equation

The sign is important so remember to number the travel states from upstream to downstream

If the sign is +ve it means that the shockwave is moving downstream

Norman W. Garrick
Calculation of Shockwave Travel

Shockwave 1

State 1 State 2
q = 500 veh/hr q = 0 veh/hr
k = 10 veh/mi k = 260 veh/mi

usw1 = (q2-q1) / (k2-k1)

(0-500) / (260-10) = - 2 mph

What is the length of the queue after 3 minutes

Length = u*t = 2 mph * 3/60 hr = 0.1 mile

How many vehicles are in the queue after 3 minutes

no. of vehicles = k * L = 250 *0.1 = 25 vehicles Norman W. Garrick
Calculation of Shockwave Travel

Shockwave 1 Shockwave 2

State 1 State 2 State 3

q = 500 veh/hr q = 0 veh/hr q = 1000 veh/hr
k = 10 veh/mi k = 260 veh/mi k = 110 veh/mi

usw2 = (q3-q2) / (k3-k2)

(1000-0) / (110-260) = - 6.67 mph

Shockwave 2 is moving upstream at 6.67 mph

Norman W. Garrick
Calculation of Shockwave Travel

Shockwave 1 Shockwave 2

State 1 State 2 State 3

q = 500 veh/hr q = 0 veh/hr q = 1000 veh/hr
k = 10 veh/mi k = 260 veh/mi k = 110 veh/mi

How long will it take to clear the queue if the flagman held the
queue for 3 minutes
Length after 3 minutes = u*t = 2 mph * 3/60 hr = 0.1 mile

Therefore the queue will dissipate at rate of 4.67 mph

Time to dissipate a 0.1 mile queue is L/speed
0.1 mile / 4.67 mph = 0.021 hr = 12.6 minutes

Norman W. Garrick
Example
a traffic stream on the approach to a signal
has an approach speed of 40 mph and
density of 45 vpm and a jam density of 130
vpm. Find a speed of the shock wave.
k = 45 vpm
kj = 130 vpm
u = 40 mph
Example (Cont.)
40 = uf(1 45/130)
uf = 61.2 mph
u = q/ k
q = 45 * 40 = 1800 vph
usw = (0 1800)/(130 45) = -21.2 mph
Example
traffic instantaneously changes from state B to
state A where state B is up stream and has a
volume of 1200 vph and 40 mph and state A is
2000 vph at 20 mph. The resulting shock wave
(the difference between the speed of the forward
moving traffic and the backward moving platoon
of traffic is defined by the equation
Apply the equation:
Qa = 2000 vph, ka = 2000 vph/20 mph = 100 vph
Qb = 1200 vph, kb = 1200 vph/40 mph = 30 vph
Usw = (2000 1200)/(100 - 30) = 11.4 mph
Example
The traffic flow on a highway is q 1 = 2000
veh/hr with speed of u1 = 80 km/hr. As the
result of an accident, the road is blocked
due to a queue generated for a distance of
0.75 km. The density in the queue is k 2 =
275 veh/km.
(a) What is the wave speed (w) and its
direction of growth?
(b) What is the rate at which the queue
grows, in units of vehicles per hour (q)?
(c) How many estimated number of
vehicles present in the queue?
Example
(a) At what rate does the queue increase?
1. Identify Unknowns:

Conclusion: the queue grows against traffic

(b) What is the rate at which the queue grows, in
units of vehicles per hour?

(c) The Jam Density is 275 veh/km.

Vehicle length = 1000/275 = 3.63 meters
No. of vehicles present in the queue = 207

Thanks