Arterial Management Program
time-lapse of traffic traveling in both directions on an urban arterial road
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies


Traffic Signal Performance Measures

  • A Methodology and Case Study: Evaluating the Benefits and Costs of Implementing Automated Traffic Signal Performance (HTML, PDF 4.6MB) - This document describes a methodology that includes a quantitative component supported by a subjective analysis. The intent of the methodology is to describe advantages and disadvantages of using a performance-based traffic signal monitoring process, when compared to the traditional approaches of monitoring and retiming traffic signals. The methodology is intended to validate the attainment of traffic signal program objectives and agency goals as articulated in a Traffic Signal Management Plan, Transportation System Management and Operations Plan, or other strategic planning document(s).
  • Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures (HTML, PDF 7.2MB) - This report highlights the technical outreach undertaken by FHWA to assist States in meeting their Every Day Counts (EDC) Round 4 implementation objectives with respect to ATSPM. The outreach activities described in this report include use cases, workshops, webinars, and case studies.
  • Performance Measures for Traffic Signal Systems: An Outcome-Oriented Approach
  • Integrating Traffic Signal Performance Measures into Agency Business Processes

Traffic Signal Management

  • Traffic Signal Management Plans (HTML, PDF 4.8MB) (FHWA-HOP-15-038) - An Objectives and Performance based approach for Improving the Design Operations and Maintenance of Traffic Signal Systems provides step-by-step instructions for documenting current activities, relating them to the agency's goals and transportation objectives, and offers a structure that shows how the activities of all staff involved in traffic signal management support those objectives.
  • Improving Traffic Signal Management and Operations: A Basic Service Model (HTML, PDF 284KB) (FHWA-HOP-09-055) - This report provides a guide for achieving a basic service model for traffic signal management and operations. The basic service model is based on simply stated and defensible operational objectives that consider the staffing level, expertise and priorities of the responsible agency. The report includes a Literature Review, which provides a review of the National Traffic Signal Report Card and Self-Assessment, case studies based on agency archetypes that provide an understanding of how agencies deliver traffic signal management services based on their resources and interviews with acknowledged leaders providing support for the basic service concept.
  • Traffic Signal Operations and Maintenance Staffing Guidelines (HTML, PDF 821KB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-09-006) - This report provides a guideline to estimate the staffing and resource needs required to effectively operate and maintain traffic signal systems.
  • Developing Traffic Signal Systems Using The National ITS Architecture (PDF 1.3MB) - This document focuses on traffic signal control systems as a key component to ITS deployments.
  • NCHRP 560 Guide to Contracting ITS Projects (PDF 883KB) - Guide to Contracting ITS Projects provides guidance on the procurement of intelligent transportation systems (ITS), including variable message signs, traffic detectors, signal controllers, and a variety of other hardware and software that entails applications of advanced electronics and information management to regulate and facilitate traffic flow. The report highlights best practices and recommends contracting strategies and contract types, terms, and conditions for ITS development, integration, system acceptance, warranty, maintenance, and upgrade.

Regional Traffic Signal Operations

  • Regional Traffic Signal Operations Programs: An Overview (HTML, PDF 2.3MB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-09-007) - This report provides an overview of practices related to developing and sustaining a Regional Traffic Signal Operations Program.
  • Planning for Operations Publications

Traffic Signal Timing & Operations Strategies

  • Signal Timing Manual Second Edition, NCHRP Report 812 - Provides guidance to promote a multimodal, objectives and performance based approach to development of traffic signal timing to address the needs of pedestrian, bicycles, transit and automobiles.
  • Model Systems Engineering Documents for Central Traffic Signal Systems (HTML, PDF 3.3MB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-19-019) This guidance document for procuring Central Traffic Signal Systems (CTSS) is part of a series of Model Systems Engineering Documents. This guidance document incorporates and replaces the Model Systems Engineering Documents for Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT) Systems Formerly FHWA-HOP-11-027 published in 2012. This guidance expands the scope to cover central traffic signal systems and performance management technologies. This framework will support the alignment of an agency’s over-arching objectives with their system operations strategies to guide the procurement of a system that best suits their needs within stated constraints. It will reduce the level of unmet expectations by stakeholders, improve the confidence of vendors that they will be able to verify compliance with stated requirements, and reduce the incidence of biased specifications.
  • Traffic Signal Change and Clearance Interval Pooled Fund Study: Synthesis Report, March 2023 (PDF 1.6 MB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-23-037) – Phase 1 report from the Traffic Signal Change and Clearance Interval Pooled Fund Study, which aims to improve documentation and consistent implementation of change and clearance interval calculation methods in State and local agencies. This report presents a synthesis of knowledge on change and clearance intervals and proposes eight research studies and data needs to execute the research.
  • Traffic Signal Preemption at Intersections Near Highway–Rail Grade Crossings - NCHRP Synthesis 507 - This NCHRP 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 practices dealing with traffic signal preemption, maintenance, funding, and operations.
  • Signal Timing Under Saturated Conditions (HTML, PDF 2.6MB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-09-008) - This report provides guidance to practitioners on effective strategies to mitigate the effects of congestion at signalized intersections.
  • Accessible Pedestrian Signals: A Guide to Best Practices, NCHRP Web-Only Document 117A (PDF 7.1MB) - This NCHRP document discusses Accessible Pedestrian Signals, description, application and provides best practices for design, implementation and operation.

Additional Publications

Office of Operations