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


Traffic Signal Performance Measures

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.
  • What Have We Learned About Intelligent Transportation Systems? Chapter 3: Arterial Management (2000) EDL# 13319 (PDF, 108KB) - This document is an excerpt from a compendium report that looks back on the ten years of the National ITS Program to examine which ITS technology applications have been successful, which have not been successful, and what are the underlying factors that determine success versus failure.
  • Successful Traffic Signal System Procurement Techniques - This short report outlines processes that are supportive of successful traffic signal system procurements. The processes are based on interviews of nine agencies across the US that have extensive experience in traffic signal system procurement. It addresses equipment as well as software and system procurements.
  • The FHWA Model Systems Engineering Documents for Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT) Systems (HTML, PDF 1.2MB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-11-027) - This report was developed to support the Every Day Counts Adaptive Signal Control Technology Initiative. This interim version of the document provides agency professionals with understanding and tools to inform suppliers about what they need and expect from adaptive control by facilitating the alignment of agency objectives, needs and requirements. The goal of the FHWA Every Day Counts ASCT is to mainstream the use of ASCT where traffic conditions and agency resources support and can sustain implementation.
  • National Traffic Signal Report Card Technical Report - The National Traffic Signal Report Card and Self-Assessment Survey are part of a national effort to bring more attention to the need for additional investment in traffic signal operations. The 2012 National Traffic Signal Report Card is a broad national indicator of how well agencies are supporting activities related to the planning, management, operation and maintenance of traffic signals.
  • 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

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.
  • Traffic Signal Timing On a Shoestring (HTML, PDF 1MB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-07-006) - This effort documents the minimum amount of data collection and optimization that should be performed in a signal retiming to acquire some appreciable benefits. This is aimed at jurisdiction or municipalities that cannot afford to perform more extensive data collection and analysis.
  • Traffic Signal Timing Process (HTML, DOC 458KMB) - This report identifies the steps that are required to time traffic signals and activities that result in improved traffic signal timing.
  • 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.

Additional Publications

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