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What can ramp metering
do for freeways?
Installing ramp meters will decrease the number of sudden weaving and braking moments that
happen as vehicles merge from onto the freeway from the on-ramps. It will also reduce accidents and
allow more vehicles to smoothly drive along the freeway. By regulating the flow of cars, ramp
meters actually allow more cars to use the freeway.
Where are ramp meters located?
They are located on I-435 between Metcalf Avenue and the Three Trails Memorial Crossing
(formerly the Grandview Triangle) and at the U.S. 69 and 135th Street Interchange.
A ramp metering implementation project is currently underway for I-35 from the Missouri-Kansas
state line to I-435.
How many on-ramps are metered?
A total of 13 on-ramps are metered in the Kansas City Metro. Seven on I-435 between
Metcalf Avenue and the Three Trails Memorial Crossing (formerly the Grandview Triangle)
and two at the U.S. 69 and 135th Street Interchange in Overland park.
How do ramp meters work?
Ramp meters work and look similar to traffic signals. Drivers must consider and obey them as they would
other traffic signals. A red light means stop, a green light allows vehicles to proceed down the
ramp and merge onto the freeway. The meters monitor and control traffic entering the freeway
during the morning and afternoon commutes.
How long will I wait
on the ramp?
Existing wait times on ramp meters in the KC Metro area are less than a minute.
During the analysis of ramp meter operations along the I-435 project researchers
found that the total wait time on the ramp usually averaged from 25 to 35 seconds
and no ramps experienced a wait longer than 60 seconds.
Will the number of vehicles
waiting on the ramps back up on to city streets?
No. The ramp meters are designed to turn off if the number of cars waiting on the
ramp grows to the point where they back up onto city streets. The meters will turn
back on once the ramp queue is reduced to a reasonable level.
How will I know if a
ramp meter is turned on?
Flashing lights located near the ramp entrance alert motorists that the ramp is being metered and
that they should be prepared to stop. Signs and road striping also indicated where to stop and how
Will the meters be on
all the time?
No. The meters will only be turned on Monday through Friday during morning and evening
rush hours when pavement sensors detect traffic congestion on the ramps.
Can I bypass the meters?
No. The meters work and look similar to traffic signals. Drivers must obey them as they
would other traffic signals.
Can emergency responders bypass the
meters during emergencies?
Yes. Ramp meter signals include adequate shoulder width for emergency vehicles to pass vehicle
queues and access the freeway in emergency situations.
Are other cities using
Yes. Ramp meters are used in most major metropolitan areas across the country including
Milwaukee, Seattle-Tacoma, Portland, Phoenix, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver, Chicago and
many other cities.