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  • SIGNAL TIMING UNDER SATURATED CONDITIONS

    Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-09-008

    Task Order under contract number: DTFH61-06-D-00006

    NOVEMBER 2008

  • Signal Timing Under Saturated Conditions

    FINAL REPORT by Booz|Allen|Hamilton Iteris University of Arizona Econolite November 2008

  • NOTICE This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

    QUALITY ASSURANCE STATEMENT The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

  • 1. Report No. FHWA-HOP-09-008

    2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.

    5. Report Date: November 2008 4. Title and Subtitle Signal Timing Under Saturated Conditions

    6. Performing Organization Code

    7. Author(s) Principal Investigator: Richard W. Denney, Jr.., P.E. Co-Authors: Larry Head, Ph.D., Kevin Spencer

    8. Performing Organization Report No. Project

    10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS) 9. Performing Organization Name and Address Booz Allen Sub-consultants: Iteris, Inc.; University of Arizona; Econolite 11. Contract or Grant No. Contract No. DTFH61-06-D-00006

    13. Type of Report and Period Covered Final Report October 2006 to September 2008

    12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration Office of Operations 1200 New Jersey Ave, SE Washington, DC 20590

    14. Sponsoring Agency Code HOP

    15. Supplementary Notes

    Eddie Curtis (Eddie.Curtis@fhwa.dot.gov) was the Technical Representative for the Federal Highway Administration. Agency experts and consultants provided interviews in support of identifying the state of the practice, including:

    Gerard de Camp, independent consultant Steven Click, Tennessee Tech University (formerly with North Carolina DOT) Woody Hood, Maryland State Highway Administration Eric Nelson, Harris County (Texas) Department of Transportation Gary Pietrowicz, Road Commission of Oakland County (Michigan) Ziad Sabra, Sabra-Wang and Associates Bill Shao, Los Angeles Department of Transportation

    16. Abstract

    This report provides guidance to practitioners on effective strategies to mitigate the effects of congestion at signalized intersections. The scope is limited to single intersections and does not address network-level strategies. The strategies are defined in terms of their underlying objective. Under congested conditions, traditional objectives and performance measures shift from progression and minimizing delay to maximizing throughput and managing queues. Experts were interviewed to identify the strategies and tactics they used to address congested intersections, a discussion of their methods is presented. Select strategies were studied further, particularly the belief that longer cycles are more efficient, and the effects of buses on signal timing in grid networks. The research revealed that long cycle lengths may not be more efficient at intersections where long queues starve turn lanes. In grid networks, the cycle length that is just long enough to reliably serve busses from a near-side stop was found through simulation to prevent the development of residual queues. 17. Key Words

    Signalized Intersections, Traffic Signal Timing, Congestion, Cycle Lengths, Throughput, Queue Management

    18. Distribution Statement

    No Restrictions. This document is available to the public

    19. Security Classification. Unclassified

    20. Security Classification. (of this page) Unclassified

    21. No. of Pages 76

    22. Price N/A

    mailto:Eddie.Curtis@fhwa.dot.gov

  • Signal Timing Under Saturated Conditions November 2008

    Table of Contents Acknowledgments ..........................................................................................................3 Guidance..........................................................................................................................4

    About This Document ....................................................................................................4 Objectives......................................................................................................................5

    Traditional Objectives ................................................................................................5 Minimizing Cycle Failures.......................................................................................5 Maximizing Performance Measures .......................................................................5

    Maximizing Throughput..............................................................................................6 Queue Management ..................................................................................................8

    Strategies ......................................................................................................................8 Guidance from Experts ..............................................................................................8

    Common Evaluation Themes .................................................................................9 Throughput Strategies............................................................................................9 Queue Management Strategies ...........................................................................11 Demons................................................................................................................11 Controller Features...............................................................................................12

    Cycle Length and Green Time.................................................................................12 Buses.......................................................................................................................13

    I. Literature Review .......................................................................................................14 Overview......................................................................................................................14 Annotated Bibliography ...............................................................................................16

    Foundational Research............................................................................................16 Optimization Model Research..................................................................................17 Network Metering.....................................................................................................18 Genetic Algorithms...................................................................................................18 MCH1542 B Installation Guide for MOVA................................................................19

    References ..................................................................................................................20 Overview of NCHRP 3-66............................................................................................21

    References for NCHRP 3-66 Discussion .................................................................25 II. The State of the Practice ..........................................................................................26

    Categorizing Congestion Based on Operational Objectives........................................26 Example Applications ..................................................................................................31

    Square Lake Road at Telegraph Road, Oakland County, Michigan ........................31 Sunrise Boulevard, Rancho Cordova, California .....................................................32 North Carolina State Highway 54 and I-40, Durham, NC ........................................34 Bandera Road and Guilbeau Road, San Antonio, Texas ........................................35

    State-of-the-Practice Interviews ..................................................................................37 Definition of Saturation.............................................................................................38 Motivating Conditions...............................................................................................38 Strategies Taken, and Their Objectives...................................................................39 Demons....................................................................................................................42 Tactics and Controller Features...............................................................................42 Desired Controller Features.....................................................................................45

    III. Evaluation of Strategies ..........................................................................................47 Long Green Times and Cycles ....................................................................................47

    Introduction .................................................................................