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In this paper, we study the Roadside Unit (RSU) placement problem in vehicular networks. We focus on the highway-like scenario in which there may be multiple lanes with exits or intersections along the road. In our model, each vehicle can access RSUs in two ways: 1) direct delivery, which occurs when the vehicle is in the transmission range of the RSUs, and 2) multi-hop relaying, which takes place when the vehicle is out of RSU transmission range. We account for both access patterns in our placement strategy and formulate this placement problem via an integer linear programming model such that the aggregate throughput in the network can be maximized. We also take into account the impact of wireless interference, vehicle population distribution, and vehicle speeds in the formulation. The performance of the proposed placement strategy is evaluated via ns-2 simulations together with VanetMobisim to generate vehicle mobility patterns. The results show that our strategy leads to the best performance as compared with the uniformly distributed placement and the hot spot placement. More importantly, our solution needs the least number of RSUs to achieve the maximal aggregate throughput in the network, indicating that our scheme is indeed a cost effective yet highly efficient placement strategy for vehicular networks.