Evaluation of Arterial Signal Coordination: Methodologies for Visualizing High-Resolution Event Data and Measuring Travel Time

Signal offsets are a signal-timing parameter that has a substantial impact on arterial travel times. The traditional technique is to optimize offsets with an offline software package, implement the settings, and then possibly observe field operations. It is not uncommon for a traffic engineer to fine-tune the settings by observing the arrivals of platoons at an intersection and making adjustments to the offset from this qualitative visual analysis. This paper discusses two tools to assist the engineer in managing arterial offsets. First, it introduces the Purdue coordination diagram (PCD) as a means of visualizing a large amount of controller and detector event data to allow investigation of the time-varying arrival patterns of coordinated movements. The second technique is arterial travel time measurement by vehicle reidentification via address matching by Bluetooth media access control. This technique is used to evaluate existing offsets and assess the impact of implemented offset changes. These tools are demonstrated with a case study involving a before-and-after comparison of an offset-tuning project. PCDs were used to identify causes of poor progression in the before case, as well as to visualize both the predicted and the actual arrival patterns associated with the optimized offsets. More than 300 travel time measurements from Bluetooth probes were used for statistical assessment of before-and-after travel time. The statistical comparison showed a significant (at the 99% level) 1.7-min reduction (28%) in mean northbound travel time, corresponding to a 1.9-min reduction in median northbound travel time. Southbound travel times were not negatively affected by the offset changes.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01152871
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309160674
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-0039
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 10:06AM