This study examines the usefulness of digital computers for controlling traffic in small and medium-sized Ontario municipalities, estimates the benefits of computer control, and defines the most appropriate role for municipal traffic control to play in fostering the appropriate use of computer systems. A questionnaire distributed to municipalities indicated that several cities are planning to upgrade their traffic signal control equipment in the immediate future, and several other cities find their systems obsolete and in need of replacement, or not sufficiently powerful to cope with growing traffic problems. It will soon be cost effective for these cities to upgrade their control systems. A list of system requirements was developed to reflect the perceived needs of Ontario municipalities. In parallel with this activity data on available traffic signal control systems was assembled and an evaluation of existing systems was undertaken. The current low costs of computer-based traffic signal systems (roughly $5000 per intersection) indicated that computer technology would be cost effective. A comparison was then made between the perceived needs and the available systems. It was found that a number of off-the-shelf systems exist which can meet the needs of Ontario cities. There exists, nevertheless, some significant obstacles for municipalities to overcome in procuring cost-effective computer systems. Chief among these is the relative complexity of computer technology and the general lack of familiarity with this technology by municipalities and local consultants. The study concludes that there is a significant role for traffic control to play in providing information and expert advice to municipalities and in co-ordinating a joint procurement of computerized control systems. The procurement activities leading to system installations will begin in early 1979 and should lead to fully-operational systems in the three municipalities by mid 1980.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Ontario Ministry of Transportation & Communic, Can

    Systems Research and Development Branch, 1201 Wilson Avenue
    Downsview, ONo M3M 1J8,   Canada 
  • Authors:
    • Heti, G
    • Whitehead, D
  • Publication Date: 1979-8-3

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 74 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00196166
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CSRD TR 7902
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 15 1979 12:00AM