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Ramp Meters

What they are, why we have them and what we've learned

Home | Ramp Meter Study | Ramp Meters Nationwide | Contact Us

Background Facts

 

Metro Meters

 

Activation Factors

What are Ramp Meters?

Ramp meters are traffic signals on highway entrance ramps designed and proven to:

 

MnDOT Ramp Meter Goals

 

 

More on ramp meters

In 2001, MnDOT released the results of an independent study on ramp metering in the metro area:

 

Contact Brian Kary for more details.

Your FAQs

Why am I waiting on the ramp when the mainline is free flowing?
Ramp meters react to actual travel conditions by delaying the onset of congestion. By allowing vehicles to enter the freeway one at a time, this precludes large numbers of vehicles from joining traffic all at once. This would create slowdowns around the entrance ramp and increase travel times.


Why is the meter running fast when the highway is stop and go?
The ramp metering policy provides a balance between maximizing the efficiency of the freeway system with traffic flow on the local streets while keeping ramp waits to less than 4 minutes. If there are too many vehicles on the ramp, this causes back ups onto local streets. The RTMC then changes the timing on the meter so that more vehicles can flow onto the mainline.


Why are meters continually flashing yellow when the highway is stop and go?
MnDOT decided not to meter at certain locations. These ramps either carry too little traffic to justify activating the meter or else they have too much traffic to effectively meter without exceeding the maximum queue waits.


Can I use my MnPASS transponder to use the ramp bypass lane?
No, drivers can only use transponders on the I-394 and I-35W MnPASS Express Lanes.