TOPL is a suite of software tools for specifying freeway operational improvement strategies, such as ramp metering, demand and incident management, and for quickly estimating the benefits of such improvements. TOPL is based on the macroscopic cell transmission model. The paper summarizes the theory of the cell transmission model and describes the procedure to carry out a TOPL application. The procedure is illustrated for the 26-mile long I-210W freeway in California, whose model is calibrated using loop detector measurements of volume and speed. The measurements show that congestion originates in a bottleneck and moves upstream, as predicted by the theory. The simulations show that appropriate ramp metering can dramatically reduce total congestion delay and mainline travel time.

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