National Academies Press: OpenBook

Signal Timing Manual - Second Edition (2015)

Chapter: Chapter 2 - Signal Timing Program

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Signal Timing Program ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Signal Timing Manual - Second Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22097.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Signal Timing Program ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Signal Timing Manual - Second Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22097.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Signal Timing Program ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Signal Timing Manual - Second Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22097.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Signal Timing Program ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Signal Timing Manual - Second Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22097.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Signal Timing Program ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Signal Timing Manual - Second Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22097.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Signal Timing Program ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Signal Timing Manual - Second Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22097.
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Chapter 2. Signal Timing Program CHAPTER 2 SIGNAL TIMING PROGRAM CONTENTS 2.1 ELEMENTS OF SUCCESSFUL SIGNAL TIMING PROGRAMS ....................................... 2-1 2.1.1 Leadership ................................................................................................................................... 2-1 2.1.2 Self-Assessment and Evaluation ......................................................................................... 2-1 2.1.3 Funding Mechanisms ............................................................................................................... 2-1 2.1.4 Training Programs .................................................................................................................... 2-2 2.1.5 Public Involvement and Outreach ...................................................................................... 2-2 2.2 BENEFITS OF REGIONAL SIGNAL TIMING PROGRAMS ............................................. 2-3 2.3 REFERENCES ........................................................................................................................... 2-3 Signal Timing Manual, Second Edion

Chapter 2. Signal Timing Program LIST OF EXHIBITS Exhibit 2-1 Congestion Management Process .......................................................................... 2-2 Signal Timing Manual, Second Edion

Chapter 2. Signal Timing Program 2-1 CHAPTER 2. SIGNAL TIMING PROGRAM Signal timing is the process of selecting appropriate values for timing parameters implemented in traf ic signal controllers and associated system software. Effective signal timing programs ensure that signal timing parameters are appropriate over the life of the traf ic signal system, by monitoring all aspects of traf ic signal implementation, operations, and maintenance consistent with community needs. A successful program requires agency staf ing and maintenance funding that is consistent with the level of service planned. 2.1 ELEMENTS OF SUCCESSFUL SIGNAL TIMING PROGRAMS Each operating agency has common traits (described in detail throughout this section) that can increase the likelihood of a signal timing program receiving support from decision-makers. In general, effective signal timing programs tend to have: • Effective intra-agency and inter-agency cooperation, which fosters knowledge-sharing, access to resources, and a higher level of customer service. • Internal champions and support from leadership within the program. • External support from elected leaders and stakeholders. • Agency goals and desired outcomes for the signal system. • Structured programs for tasks such as signal timing, performance measurement, maintenance, training, and outreach. 2.1.1 Leadership It has been well documented that leadership is the most important factor for a successful program. Leadership often starts with a champion at one or more organizations and, possibly, at one or more levels of an organization. There are many different leadership approaches that can result in a successful program, especially given different organizational structures. 2.1.2 Self-Assessment and Evaluaon Self-assessment can help agencies understand what works, what could be improved, and what keeps the agency operating. If this is done collaboratively throughout a region, it will be easier to develop a shared vision. Resources for self-assessment include (but are not limited to) the Trafic Signal Self-Assessment (www.ite.org/selfassessment/ TSOSelfAssessment11.pdf), the Trafic Signal Audit Guide (1), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) peer review assistance, and a multitude of other FHWA documents that support successful signal timing programs. 2.1.3 Funding Mechanisms Funding is an essential part of a signal timing program and is often available through a variety of sources such as direct agency funding, state-local arrangements, public-private partnerships, and federal funding. In order to be successful, a program must acquire enough funding to serve its system users (2). Identifying and documenting While effecve signal ming is necessary, it will not automacally sustain a successful signal ming program. Signal Timing Manual, Second Edion

Chapter2-2 2. Signal Timing Program agency needs for funding organizations, like a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), or local policymakers is part of sustaining a trafic signal timing program. One funding opportunity is increasing the focus on management and operations (M&O) in a Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) (3). For example, an MTP can include a congestion management process (like that shown in Exhibit 2-1), which is a potential source of funding. This objectives-driven approach is consistent with the outcome based process introduced in Chapter 1. Source: Adapted from Advancing Metropolitan Planning for Opera ons: An Objec ves-Driven, Performance- Based Approach: A Guidebook (3). 2.1.4 Training Programs Training is an ongoing need because staff (at all levels) need to understand the goals and objectives of a signal timing program, as well as acquire the skills necessary to accomplish their assignments. Training of various kinds is available from equipment vendors, software providers, universities, states, the United States Department of Transportation, and the National Highway Institute. Trafic Signal Operations and Maintenance Stafing Guidelines (4) provides a comprehensive overview of stafing for signal operations, with additional material available in Chapter 8. 2.1.5 Public Involvement and Outreach Good communication is necessary in acquiring public and political support for a sustainable signal timing program. The means of communication should be appropriate for the agency. It could be as simple as providing a phone number on the side of a trafic signal cabinet, or it could be as detailed as posting an explanation of how signals are being timed on the agency website. As performance measures are collected, they can also be used to indicate progress or gather support for improvements. Exhibit 2-1 Congeson Management Process By fostering a true understanding of a program, individuals are empowered to find solu ons and to sustain the technical aspects of a program. Signal Timing Manual, Second Edion

Chapter 2. Signal Timing Program 2-3 2.2 BENEFITS OF REGIONAL SIGNAL TIMING PROGRAMS By bringing a diverse set of strengths together, a regional signal timing program can provide added value to roadway users. Regional programs produce more eficient and consistent operations than individual programs working alone; regional programs can lead to improved mobility and safety across a region. Speciically, some beneits of a regional program may include (5) • Advancement of projects that are too large for a single agency to undertake but are manageable as regional or state transportation improvements. • Increased access to funding through joint applications. • Availability of a central point of contact, which simpliies information processing and sharing of feedback from stakeholders and users. • Leveraging resources and experience through shared training, ofice space, equipment purchases, technician support, and Information Technology (IT)/Information Systems (IS) staff, which often results in a more collaborative working environment. • Consistent signal operations, resulting from practitioners having the same training or certiication and using the same guidance on signal timing parameters. • Improved signal operations, resulting from better cross-agency coordination, timing practices, and shared knowledge. • Smoother trafic management during special conditions, through shared resources and better communication when shifting trafic from one agency’s facilities to another. More information can be found in The Collaborative Advantage: Realizing the Tangible Bene its of Regional Transportation Operations Collaboration: A Reference Manual (6), Scan 07-04: Best Practices in Regional, Multiagency Traf ic Signal Operations Management (7), and NCHRP Synthesis 420 (8). 2.3 REFERENCES 1. Traf ic Signal Audit Guide. National Transportation Operations Coalition, Washington, D.C., 2007. 2. Denny, Jr., R. W. Improving Traf ic Signal Management and Operations: A Basic Service Model. Report FHWA-HOP-09-055. Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation, 2009. 3. Grant, M., J. Bauer, T. Plaskon, and J. Mason. Advancing Metropolitan Planning for Operations: An Objectives-Driven, Performance-Based Approach: A Guidebook. Report FHWA-HOP-10-026. Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation, 2010. 4. Gordon, R., and C. Braud. Traf ic Signal Operations and Maintenance Staf ing Guidelines. Report FHWA-HOP-09-006. Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation, 2009. Signal Timing Manual, Second Edion

Chapter2-4 2. Signal Timing Program 5. Koonce, P., K. Lee, and T. Urbanik. Regional Trafic Signal Operations Programs: An Overview. Report FHWA-HOP-09-007. Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation, 2009. 6. Bauer, J., M. Smith, and A. Armstrong. The Collaborative Advantage: Realizing the Tangible Beneits of Regional Transportation Operations Collaboration: A Reference Manual. Report FHWA-HOP-08-001. Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation, 2007. 7. Jennings, B., G. Bachmann, E. Curtis, S. Misgen, V. Nguyen, J. B. Renick, and K. N. Balke. Scan 07-04: Best Practices in Regional, Multiagency Trafic Signal Operations Management. Final Report, NCHRP Project 20-68A. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Of”icials, 2013. 8. Balke, K. N., and A. Voight. NCHRP Synthesis of Highway Practice 420: Operational and Institutional Agreements That Facilitate Regional Trafic Signal Operations. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., 2011. Signal Timing Manual, Second Edion

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TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 812: Signal Timing Manual - Second Edition, covers fundamentals and advanced concepts related to signal timing. The report addresses ways to develop a signal timing program based on the operating environment, users, user priorities by movement, and local operational objectives.

Advanced concepts covered in the report include the systems engineering process, adaptive signal control, preferential vehicle treatments, and timing strategies for over-saturated conditions, special events, and inclement weather.

An overview PowerPoint presentation accompanies the report.

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