Arterial Management Program
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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Traffic Signal Timing Manual

The Traffic Signal Timing Manual [HTML, PDF 8.4MB] presents a comprehensive guide and synthesis of current practices related to traffic signal timing for signalized intersections. All the different elements of traffic signal timing, from policy and funding considerations to timing plan development, assessment, and maintenance are covered comprehensively. This manual is the culmination of research into documented practices from across North America. The Signal Timing Manual is intended to be a useful reference for a range of practitioners, including traffic engineers, signal technicians, design engineers, teacher, and university students.

Chapter 1 - Introduction. This chapter provides a background on intersection signalization, the need for signal retiming, and the benefits of retiming. It presents the overall structure, scope, and intended use of the manual.

Chapter 2 - Objectives, Policy and Funding Considerations. This chapter provides a summary of signal timing policy and objectives development, along with policy examples, and overview of the signal timing process and its interactions with policy.

Chapter 3 - Operational and Safety Analysis. This chapter provides a summary of the common techniques used to assess the operational and safety performance of signal timing.

Chapter 4 - Traffic Signal Design. This chapter documents the principles of traffic signal design and the relationship to traffic signal timing, including signal control type, signal phasing, detection layout, and how traffic signal design affects isolated and coordinated signal timing operations.

Chapter 5 - Basic Signal Timing Controller Parameters. This chapter presents basic traffic signal timing principles for a single intersection, regardless of coordination. It also describes the procedure to develop safe and efficient intersection operations through signal timing. In addition, it provides guidelines to select values for key signal timing parameters and strategies for their use.

Chapter 6 - Coordination. This chapter presents and defines the concept of coordinating traffic signals, and provides examples from research and practice. It provides an overview of coordination including a summary of objectives, the fundamental concepts, and expectations of coordinated timing.

Chapter 7 - Developing Coordinated Signal Timing Plans. This chapter documents the process used to develop coordinated signal timing plans in a step-by-step fashion. It provides an overview of coordination, including a summary of objectives, the fundamental concepts, and expectations of a coordination plan.

Chapter 8 - Signal Timing Maintenance Operations and Monitoring. This chapter provides a summary of the various steps necessary to maintain effective traffic signal timing plans and corresponding activities.

Chapter 9 - Advanced Signal Timing Topics. This chapter introduces some advanced concepts and applications within signal timing, discussing their effect on signal timing and providing examples when applicable. Topics presented in this chapter include traffic signal preemption, traffic signal priority, transition logic, traffic responsive operation, adaptive traffic signal control, planned special event, incident, and emergency management and weather-related factors influencing signal timing.

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