Queue detection systems have been used in traffic management in work zones and have also been recommended for traffic control for special events like sports and conventions. However, they have not been tested in the field. This paper presents the results of tests for a queue detection system at two special events in Las Vegas, Nevada. The system consisted of two vision detectors, radio frequency communications and one changeable message sign. Two aspects of the system were evaluated: the effectiveness of the system in reducing speeds and the cost and effectiveness of its deployment. In the tests, traffic data such as queue length and vehicle operating speeds were collected and analyzed to see whether motorists respond congestion related message on the changeable message sign when they did not perceive the congestion. By this approach, the motorists’ true responses to the system were identified. The results indicated that motorists did make positive responses to the messages provided by the system. However, it was found that the system may not be cost-effective because significant costs would be incurred in purchasing, installation and maintenance of the system. Recommendations were provided to utilize existing message signs and detectors to provide the same information to motorists as a queue detection system does.
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