Multimodal Intersection Signal Timing Considerations Framework, Performance Measures, and Case Study

Signal retiming is a cost-effective practice to improve intersection operations through periodic updating of the timing plans. Traditionally, signal retiming has focused on vehicular-based performance (e.g., reducing vehicle delay or number of stops), while often unintentionally ignoring the needs of other users, such as pedestrians, cyclists, and transit vehicle passengers. This unintended omission is further exacerbated by the signal timing tools used in the industry, which tend to primarily report vehicular metrics. To address these challenges, this research developed a multimodal signal timing framework along with easy-to-use performance measures. These performance measures include (1) vehicle delay, (2) crosswalk delay, (3) crossing stress, and (4) bus delay. To assess the approach effectiveness, the proposed framework and the developed tools were applied to 12 intersections along the North Glebe Corridor, in Arlington, VA, for the weekday a.m. peak. Analysis results showed that the proposed framework and tools can incorporate most multimodal considerations and address the limitations of the traditional vehicle-based approaches by quantifying multimodal tradeoffs at signals. With the proposed tools, the alternative timing plan developed for the a.m. peak yielded a 4.5% improvement in performance along the corridor, versus a degradation of 3.7% if only vehicle delay was considered in the analysis. Additional sensitivity analysis conducted along the corridor using various timing plan scenarios showed that the calculated values of the measures are accurately reflecting the anticipated effects of signal timing changes that aim to improve crossing stress for non-motorized users and/or reduce their delay at the intersection crosswalks.


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  • Accession Number: 01879208
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 15 2023 5:20PM