There is a body of literature on the influence range and traffic risk of fixed work zones. However, relatively few studies have examined the effect of ubiquitous moving operating vehicles, such as road cleaners, on urban roads. The influence of low speed moving work zones on road traffic flow and traffic risk is still unclear. In this work, we used simulations to establish an urban expressway three lanes VISSIM model, and selected the road traffic volume and speed of the moving work zone as the independent variables. We analyzed the range of influence of the moving work zone on the rear vehicles in the left, middle and right lanes of the urban expressway and the traffic risk variation law caused by the moving work zone. The results show that the left lane was indirectly affected by the moving work zone when the traffic volume reached 2000 pcu/h. The influence of the moving work zone on the middle lane was controlled by the traffic volume and the speed of the moving work zone. Both the left and middle lanes were mainly impacted by vehicles changing lane from the right lane. Regardless of the traffic volume and the speed of the moving work zone change, the vehicles 200 m behind a moving work zone will be directly affected in the right lane. Furthermore, the average traffic risk is the highest within 50 m of the moving work zone in the right lane. When the traffic volume decreases and the speed of the moving work zone increases, the average traffic risk decreases gradually. These results provide a scientific basis for the operation and management of moving working vehicles on urban roads.
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