Congestion related delays at the US/Canadian border crossing between Washington state and British Columbia have underscored the need for some sort of intervention. One obvious congestion-mitigation measure is to estimate delay and relay this information to motorists so they may select among alternative, less-congested border crossing sites or delay their trip. This study defines an automated motorist information system that provides border delay estimate to motorists.
The report begins by providing a detailed description of the study area, characteristics of international travel, border crossing congestion-mitigation alternatives, and a physical assessment of the four border crossings being considered; the two crossings at Blaine, WA., and the crossings at Lynden, WA., and Sumas, WA. On the basis of a study of travel on northbound I-5 at Blaine, and the resultant statistical analysis, a model capable of predicting delay based primarily on queue length was developed. This model can be used as an integral part of a motorist information system that will include 1) detectors to estimate queue length; 2) software to predict delay using the statistical model; and 3) methods of disseminating delay information to the public, including highway advisory radio (HAR) and variable message signs (VMS). The report concludes by discussing the implementation of this system and estimating costs