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NATIONAL NCHRP SYNTHESIS 403 COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Adaptive Traffic Control Systems: Domestic and Foreign State of Practice A Synthesis of Highway Practice

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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2010 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* OFFICERS Chair: Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington Vice Chair: Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore Executive Director: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS J. BARRY BARKER, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY ALLEN D. BIEHLER, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg LARRY L. BROWN, SR., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Norfolk, VA WILLIAM A.V. CLARK, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles NICHOLAS J. GARBER, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, and Director, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville JEFFREY W. HAMIEL, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN EDWARD A. (NED) HELME, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC RANDELL H. IWASAKI, Director, California DOT, Sacramento ADIB K. KANAFANI, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley SUSAN MARTINOVICH, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City DEBRA L. MILLER, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka PETE K. RAHN, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City SANDRA ROSENBLOOM, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson TRACY L. ROSSER, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Mandeville, LA STEVEN T. SCALZO, Chief Operating Officer, Marine Resources Group, Seattle, WA HENRY G. (GERRY) SCHWARTZ, JR., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO BEVERLY A. SCOTT, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA DAVID SELTZER, Principal, Mercator Advisors LLC, Philadelphia, PA DANIEL SPERLING, Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy; Director, Institute of Transportation Studies; and Interim Director, Energy Efficiency Center, University of California, Davis DOUGLAS W. STOTLAR, President and CEO, Con-Way, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI C. MICHAEL WALTON, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin EX OFFICIO MEMBERS THAD ALLEN (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC PETER H. APPEL, Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S.DOT J. RANDOLPH BABBITT, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT REBECCA M. BREWSTER, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, President Emeritus and University Professor, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Brooklyn; Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC ANNE S. FERRO, Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S.DOT LEROY GISHI, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC EDWARD R. HAMBERGER, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC JOHN C. HORSLEY, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC DAVID T. MATSUDA, Deputy Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S.DOT VICTOR M. MENDEZ, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT WILLIAM W. MILLAR, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC CYNTHIA L. QUARTERMAN, Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S.DOT PETER M. ROGOFF, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT DAVID L. STRICKLAND, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S.DOT JOSEPH C. SZABO, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S.DOT POLLY TROTTENBERG, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S.DOT ROBERT L. VAN ANTWERP (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC *Membership as of February 2010.

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP SYNTHESIS 403 Adaptive Traffic Control Systems: Domestic and Foreign State of Practice A Synthesis of Highway Practice CONSULTANT ALEKSANDAR STEVANOVIC Advanced Transportation Concepts, LLC Salt Lake City, Utah S UBSCRIBER C ATEGORIES Highways Operations and Traffic Management Research Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in Cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2010 www.TRB.org

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP SYNTHESIS 403 Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective Project 20-5 (Topic 40-03) approach to the solution of many problems facing highway ISSN 0547-5570 administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local ISBN 978-0-309-14304-2 interest and can best be studied by highway departments Library of Congress Control No. 2009942376 individually or in cooperation with their state universities and 2010 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a COPYRIGHT INFORMATION coordinated program of cooperative research. Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the American Association of State Highway and Transportation copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Officials initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce program employing modern scientific techniques. This program is material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be member states of the Association and it receives the full cooperation used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or Department of Transportation. practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the was requested by the Association to administer the research material, request permission from CRP. program because of the Board's recognized objectivity and understanding of modern research practices. The Board is uniquely suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee structure from which authorities on any highway transportation NOTICE subject may be drawn; it possesses avenues of communications and The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National cooperation with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, Cooperative Highway Research Program conducted by the Transportation universities, and industry; its relationship to the National Research Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the National Council is an insurance of objectivity; it maintains a full-time Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing Board's judgment that research correlation staff of specialists in highway transportation the program concerned is of national importance and appropriate with respect matters to bring the findings of research directly to those who are in to both the purposes and resources of the National Research Council. a position to use them. The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this project and to review this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and The program is developed on the basis of research needs with due consideration for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. identified by chief administrators of the highway and transportation The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied are those of the research departments and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific agency that performed the research, and, while they have been accepted as areas of research needs to be included in the program are proposed appropriate by the technical committee, they are not necessarily those of the to the National Research Council and the Board by the American Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or the Federal Research projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the Board, and Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. qualified research agencies are selected from those that have Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research committee according to procedures established and monitored by the contracts are the responsibilities of the National Research Council Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council. and the Transportation Research Board. The needs for highway research are many, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or duplicate other highway research programs. Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW NOTE: The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the Washington, DC 20001 National Research Council, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the individual and can be ordered through the Internet at: states participating in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of this report. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academys p urposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scien- tific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Insti- tute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisci- plinary, and multimodal. The Board's varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation depart- ments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org

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NCHRP COMMITTEE FOR PROJECT 20-5 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS STAFF CHRISTOPHER W. JENKS, Director, Cooperative Research CHAIR Programs CATHERINE NELSON, Oregon DOT CRAWFORD F. JENCKS, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs MEMBERS NANDA SRINIVASAN, Senior Program Officer KATHLEEN S. AMES, Springfield, Illinois EILEEN DELANEY, Director of Publications STUART D. ANDERSON, Texas A&M University CYNTHIA J. BURBANK, PB Americas, Inc. NCHRP SYNTHESIS STAFF LISA FREESE, Scott County (MN) Public Works Division STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Director for Studies and Special Programs MALCOLM T. KERLEY, Virginia DOT JON M. WILLIAMS, Program Director, IDEA and Synthesis Studies RICHARD D. LAND, California DOT JO ALLEN GAUSE, Senior Program Officer JAMES W. MARCH, Federal Highway Administration GAIL R. STABA, Senior Program Officer JOHN M. MASON, JR., Auburn University DONNA L. VLASAK, Senior Program Officer ANANTH PRASAD, HNTB Corporation DON TIPPMAN, Editor ROBERT L. SACK, New York State DOT CHERYL KEITH, Senior Program Assistant FRANCINE SHAW-WHITSON, Federal Highway Administration DEBBIE IRVIN, Program Associate LARRY VELASQUEZ, New Mexico DOT TOPIC PANEL FHWA LIAISON KEVIN BALKE, Texas A&M University JACK JERNIGAN RICHARD A. CUNARD, Transportation Research Board WILLIAM ZACCAGNINO KEVIN FEHON, DKS Associates, Oakland, CA EDWARD L. FISCHER, Oregon Department of Transportation TRB LIAISON ARIF KAZMI, Arizona Department of Transportation STEPHEN F. MAHER W. LESLIE KELMAN, Les Kelman & Associates, Toronto MARTIN D. PARKER, Open Roads Consulting, Arlington, VA GARY PIOTROWICZ, Oakland County (MI) Roads Commission BILL J. SHAO, City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation BOB SNYDER, Maryland State Highway Administration ROBERT WILLIAMS, Miami-Date County EDDIE CURTIS, Federal Highway Administration (Liaison) ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Special thanks go to Peter T. Martin (Professor of Civil Engineering portation), Carlo Di Taranto (MIZAR Automazione, Italy), David at the University of Utah) who introduced the author to the realm of Lucas (Arizona State University), Eddie Curtis (Federal Highway Adaptive Traffic Control Systems and assisted in this project with many Administration), Farhad Pooran (Telvent), Filippo Logi (Siemens AG, invaluable advices. The author would also like to thank Larry Head Germany), Florian Weichenmeier (GEVAS Software, Munich, Ger- (Head of Systems and Industrial Engineering, University of Arizona), many), Frazer Johnson (Road and Transit Authority, New South Wales, Nathan Gartner (Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Uni- Australia), Juergen Mueck (Siemens AG, Germany), Michael Sullivant versity of Massachusetts, Lowell), Bernard Friedrich, (Professor, Insti- (Rhythm Engineering), Pitu Mirchandani (Arizona State University), tute of Transportation and Urban Engineering, Technical University of Robert Braun (Technical University of Munich, Germany), Steven Braunshweig, Germany), Yasuhiko Kumagai (Professor, Kochi Univer- Shaw (Road and Transit Authority, New South Wales, Australia), Steve sity of Technology, Japan), Herman van der Vliet (Manager of Traffic Shelby (Siemens, USA), Tobias Pohlmann (Technical University of Engineering, Peek Traffic B.V., Utrecht, Netherlands), Juergen Mueck Braunshweig, Germany), Vito Mauro (MIZAR Automazione, Italy). (MOTION Project Manager, Siemens AG Industry Sector, Munich, The author is very grateful to the members of the study's topic panel Germany), and Frazer Johnson (Manager at Traffic Systems Branch, who provided excellent feedback during the entire course of this study, Road and Transit Authority, New South Wales, Australia) for their which significantly improved organization and content of the study. The invaluable support in the initial stage of this study. Their initial com- author also appreciated the assistance of Jon Williams (Program Direc- ments regarding the scope and feasibility of this study helped to deter- tor of Synthesis Studies) and other NCHRP synthesis staff who handled mine the course of the study. Very valuable assistance in the prepara- administrative matters of this project. Most importantly, special thanks tion of this synthesis was provided by the following group of ATCS go to Gail Staba, Senior Program Officer, who managed this project on vendors, developers, and users who helped to describe various ATCSs behalf of NAS and TRB. presented in this study: Bill Shao (Los Angeles Department of Trans-

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FOREWORD Highway administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which infor- mation already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a conse- quence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviating the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to highway administrators and engineers. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful information and to make it available to the entire highway com- munity, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials-- through the mechanism of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program-- authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, NCHRP Project 20-5, "Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Problems," searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute an NCHRP report series, Synthesis of Highway Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each report in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. PREFACE Adaptive Traffic Control Systems (ATCSs), also known as real-time traffic control sys- By Gail R. Staba tems, adjust, in real time, signal timings based on the current traffic conditions, demand, Senior Program Officer and system capacity. Although there are at least 25 ATCS deployments in the United States, Transportation these systems may not be well understood by many traffic signal practitioners in the coun- Research Board try. Their operational benefits are demonstrated, but there are still some reservations among the people in the traffic signal community. These systems are considered expensive and complex and they require high maintenance of detectors and communications. The study methodology included three sequential efforts. The first focused on the selec- tion of ATCSs, which are typically deployed in the United States (and worldwide) and iden- tification of ATCS agencies. The next effort undertaken was a literature review that gath- ered and reported information about ATCS operations and deployments from previous studies. Finally, two electronic surveys were conducted: a shorter e-mail survey for ATCS vendors and a longer website-based survey for ATCS users. Responses were obtained from 34 of 42 agencies in North America, an 81% response rate. Also, 11 responses from agen- cies in other countries were obtained. Municipal and county traffic operations agencies were the major contributors among the 45 agencies that responded to the survey. Aleksandar Stevanovic, Advanced Transportation Concepts, LLC, Salt Lake City, Utah, collected and synthesized the information and wrote the report. The members of the topic panel are acknowledged on the preceding page. This synthesis is an immediately useful doc- ument that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowl- edge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.

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CONTENTS 1 SUMMARY 5 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Background, 5 Study Goals and Objectives, 6 Study Methodology, 7 Agency Participation, 7 Analysis Approach, 8 Report Organization, 9 10 CHAPTER TWO OVERVIEW OF DEPLOYMENTS Introduction, 10 Operational Environment, 10 Implementation of Adaptive Traffic Control Systems, 10 Summary, 16 17 CHAPTER THREE WORKING PRINCIPLES OF MAJOR ADAPTIVE TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS Introduction, 17 Summary of Adaptive Traffic Control Systems Characteristics, 17 Summary, 20 23 CHAPTER FOUR INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS Introduction, 23 Training, 23 Operations, 24 Maintenance, 26 Summary, 27 28 CHAPTER FIVE SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Introduction, 28 Detection, 28 Hardware, 30 Software, 30 Adaptive Traffic Control Systems and Microsimulation Tools, 32 Communications, 32 Summary, 35 36 CHAPTER SIX IMPLEMENTATION COSTS AND BENEFITS Introduction, 36 Costs of Deploying Adaptive Traffic Control Systems, 36 Evaluation Studies, 37 Benefits from Adaptive Traffic Control Systems Deployments, 38 Public Perception, 41 Summary, 42

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43 CHAPTER SEVEN LESSONS LEARNED Introduction, 43 User Perspectives, 43 Summary, 45 47 CHAPTER EIGHT CONCLUSIONS 49 REFERENCES 50 ACRONYMS 51 APPENDIX A VENDORS' DESCRIPTIONS OF MAJOR ADAPTIVE TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS 83 APPENDIX B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE 96 APPENDIX C BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ADAPTIVE TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS