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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Traffic Signal Preemption at Intersections Near Highway–Rail Grade Crossings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24769.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Traffic Signal Preemption at Intersections Near Highway–Rail Grade Crossings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24769.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Traffic Signal Preemption at Intersections Near Highway–Rail Grade Crossings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24769.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Traffic Signal Preemption at Intersections Near Highway–Rail Grade Crossings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24769.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Traffic Signal Preemption at Intersections Near Highway–Rail Grade Crossings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24769.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Traffic Signal Preemption at Intersections Near Highway–Rail Grade Crossings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24769.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Traffic Signal Preemption at Intersections Near Highway–Rail Grade Crossings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24769.
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NAT IONAL COOPERAT IVE H IGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP SYNTHESIS 507 SubScriber categorieS Highways • Operations and Traffic Management Traffic Signal Preemption at Intersections Near Highway–Rail Grade Crossings A Synthesis of Highway Practice conSultantS Tom Urbanik and Alison Tanaka Kittelson & Associates, Inc. Portland, Oregon 2017 Research Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in Cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration

NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed research is the most effective way to solve many problems facing highway administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local interest and can best be stud- ied by highway departments individually or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transportation results in increasingly complex problems of wide interest to highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research. Recognizing this need, the leadership of the American Associa- tion of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in 1962 initiated an objective national highway research program using modern scientific techniques—the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). NCHRP is supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of AASHTO and receives the full cooperation and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation. The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Acad- emies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was requested by AASHTO to administer the research program because of TRB’s recognized objectivity and understanding of modern research practices. TRB is uniquely suited for this purpose for many rea- sons: TRB maintains an extensive committee structure from which authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; TRB possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, universities, and industry; TRB’s relationship to the Academies is an insurance of objectivity; and TRB maintains a full-time staff of specialists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of research directly to those in a position to use them. The program is developed on the basis of research needs identi- fied by chief administrators and other staff of the highway and trans- portation departments and by committees of AASHTO. Topics of the highest merit are selected by the AASHTO Standing Committee on Research (SCOR), and each year SCOR’s recommendations are proposed to the AASHTO Board of Directors and the Academies. Research projects to address these topics are defined by NCHRP, and qualified research agencies are selected from submitted propos- als. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the Academies and TRB. The needs for highway research are many, and NCHRP can make significant contributions to solving highway transportation prob- lems 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 Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to http://www.national-academies.org and then searching for TRB Printed in the United States of America NCHRP SYNTHESIS 507 Project 20-05, Topic 47-15 ISSN 0547-5570 ISBN 978-0-309-38995-2 Library of Congress Control No. 2016961957 © 2017 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FRA, FTA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, PHMSA, or TDC endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessari- ly those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers’ names appear herein solely because they are con- sidered essential to the object of the report.

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to increase the benefits that transportation contributes to society by providing leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Board’s varied committees, task forces, and panels 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 departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.

TOPIC PANEL 47-15 JOANNA L. BUSH, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Madison RICHARD A. CUNARD, Transportation Research Board DENNIS EYLER, SRF Consulting, Minneapolis, MN ADAM J. LOUGH, Utah Department of Transportation, Orem RAJ V. PONNALURI, Florida Department of Transportation, Tallahassee ALEkSANDAR STEVANOVIC, Florida Atlantic University–Civil, Environ. & Geom. Engineering, Boca Raton BRIAN VERCRUYSSE, Illinois Commerce Commission, Springfield PAUL ZEBELL, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland, OR EDDIE CURTIS, Federal Highway Administration (Liaison) JAMES DAHLEM, Federal Highway Administration (Liaison) TAREk OMAR, Federal Railroad Administration (Liaison) SYNTHESIS STUDIES STAFF STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Director for Studies and Special Programs JON M. WILLIAMS, Program Director, IDEA and Synthesis Studies MARIELA GARCIA-COLBERG, Senior Program Officer JO ALLEN GAUSE, Senior Program Officer THOMAS HELMS, Consultant GAIL R. STABA, Senior Program Officer TANYA M. ZWAHLEN, Consultant DON TIPPMAN, Senior Editor CHERYL kEITH, Senior Program Assistant DEMISHA WILLIAMS, Senior Program Assistant DEBBIE IRVIN, Program Associate COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS STAFF CHRISTOPHER J. HEDGES, Director, Cooperative Research Programs LORI L. SUNDSTROM, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs EILEEN P. DELANEY, Director of Publications NCHRP COMMITTEE FOR PROJECT 20-05 CHAIR BRIAN A. BLANCHARD, Florida Department of Transportation MEMBERS STUART D. ANDERSON, Texas A&M University SOCORRO “COCO” BRISENO, California Department of Transportation DAVID M. JARED, Georgia Department of Transportation CYNTHIA L. JONES, Ohio Department of Transportation MALCOLM T. kERLEY, NXL, Richmond, VA JOHN M. MASON, JR., Auburn University ROGER C. OLSON, Minnesota Department of Transportation (retired) BENJAMIN T. ORSBON, South Dakota Department of Transportation RANDALL R. PARk, Utah Department of Transportation ROBERT L. SACk, New York State Department of Transportation FRANCINE SHAW WHITSON, Federal Highway Administration JOYCE N. TAYLOR, Maine Department of Transportation FHWA LIAISON JACk JERNIGAN TRB LIAISON STEPHEN F. MAHER Cover figure: Hiawatha LRT Crossing at E. 42nd Street, Minneapolis, MN. Credit: Tom Urbanik, kittelson & Associates, Inc. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This synthesis was developed with help from a variety of sources. As part of the project team, Paul Olson, P.R. Olson Associates Ltd., provided references used throughout the synthesis and reviewed the document in its entirety. One of the most important components of this project was the case examples. Special thanks to the following people for providing infor- mation for the case examples, as well as reviewing the associated documentation: Adam Moore, Portland Bureau of Transportation kevin Duemmel, Ohio Department of Transportation Sean Skehan, Los Angeles Department of Transportation David Dokupil, CTC, Inc. In addition to those who helped develop the synthesis, the panel mem- bers provided engaged and insightful reviews throughout the project. Their recommendations helped to produce a synthesis that effectively summarizes the state of practice of traffic signal preemption at inter- sections near highway-rail grade crossings.

FOREWORD Every day millions of people around the United States cross railway tracks without under- standing the complex operations and methodologies that have to be taken into account for the creation of effective traffic signaling at those intersections. This synthesis documents the current practices of traffic signal preemption deployed at intersections adjacent to railway grade crossing in both the United States and Canada. The study provides information on prac- tices dealing with traffic signal preemption, maintenance, funding, and operations. A literature review and detailed survey responses from 40 of 49 U.S. departments of transportation and four Canadian provinces (an 85% response rate) are provided. Detailed case examples of three different states are also included in the report and provide addi- tional insights on the state of the practice, including lessons learned, challenges, and gaps in information. The synthesis will assist transportation agencies in the design of a railway preemption system for a particular situation and aid in their ability to maintain the system. The informa- tion included can help practitioners in seeking solutions for traffic signal operations near railway grade crossings. Tom Urbanik and Alison Tanaka, kittelson & Associates, Inc., Portland, Oregon, col- lected 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 document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand. Highway administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which infor- mation already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and prac- tice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a consequence, 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 alleviat- ing 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 commu- nity, 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 By Mariela Garcia-Colberg Senior Program Officer Transportation Research Board

CONTENTS 1 SUMMARY 3 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Background, 3 Review of Literature, 3 Report Organization, 4 6 CHAPTER TWO OVERVIEW OF THE HIGHWAY–RAIL GRADE CROSSING SYSTEM Concept of Operation, 6 Important Concepts and Terminology, 7 13 CHAPTER THREE RAIL SYSTEMS Types of Detection Systems, 13 Types of Interconnect Circuits, 14 16 CHAPTER FOUR TRAFFIC SIGNAL SYSTEMS Addressing the Preempt Trap, 16 Queue Management, 19 22 CHAPTER FIVE INTERCONNECTION Simple Single-Preempt Circuits, 22 Multiple-Preempt Circuits, 22 Supervision, 23 Advanced Systems, 24 25 CHAPTER SIX INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS Regulatory Considerations, 25 Survey Results Overview, 26 General Practice, 26 Rail Systems Practice, 27 Traffic Signal Systems Practice, 27 Interconnection Practice, 28 Design Practice, 29 Maintenance Practice, 29 Monitoring Activities, 30 31 CHAPTER SEVEN CASE EXAMPLES Portland, Oregon Case Example, 31 Ohio Case Example, 37 California Case Example, 37

39 CHAPTER EIGHT CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH 41 ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS 42 REFERENCES 44 APPENDIX A SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE 62 APPENDIX B SURVEY RESPONSES Note: Photographs, figures, and tables in this report may have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions.

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TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 507: Traffic Signal Preemption at Intersections Near Highway–Rail Grade Crossings documents the current practices of traffic signal preemption deployed at intersections adjacent to railway grade crossing in both the United States and Canada. The study provides information on practices dealing with traffic signal preemption, maintenance, funding, and operations.

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