Impact of Phase Sequence on Cycle Length Resonance

The concept of resonant cycle length, that there are certain cycle lengths that may provide excellent progression owing to corridor geometry and other factors, has some currency as a potential strategy for cycle length selection. Past studies have identified resonant cycles under certain conditions and demonstrated benefits from use of the strategy as a means of selecting cycle length. The present study revisited the concept in application to flow-based models of traffic signal performance, highlighting the impact of phase sequence optimization. The phenomenon of cycle length resonance was explored for corridors with equal and randomly generated spacing between intersections, and finally for a field-calibrated corridor. Under each scenario, the performance of different cycle lengths was explored under two optimization strategies: optimization of only offsets, and optimization of both offsets and phase sequence. It was found that phase sequence has a substantial impact on the performance of coordination. Optimized phase sequences were found to yield 8% to 14% improvement in performance compared with use of the default sequence. For corridors where a resonant cycle length was evident, when phase sequences could also be adjusted, the poorer performance of non-resonant cycle lengths could be mitigated by optimizing phase sequence. Although use of a resonant cycle length is likely to yield good performance for some corridors under appropriate conditions, the use of a phase sequence optimization strategy is likely to have a strong impact on most corridors, and could be more impactful than selection of a resonant cycle length.

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    • The Standing Committee on Traffic Signal Systems (AHB25) peer-reviewed this paper (19-01845). © National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2019.
  • Authors:
    • Day, Christopher M
    • Emtenan, A. M. Tahsin
  • Publication Date: 2019-11


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01708079
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jun 16 2019 3:04PM