Office of Operations
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies


1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Signal Timing on a Shoestring

5. Report Date

March, 2005

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)

Henry, RD

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Sabra,Wang & Associates, Inc.
1504 Joh Avenue, Suite 160 Baltimore, MD 21227

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Travel Management
Federal Highway Administration
400 Seventh Street
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes

COTR: Pamela Crenshaw, John Halkias Reviewers: Mike Schauer, Ed Fok

16. Abstract

The conventional approach to signal timing optimization and field deployment requires current traffic flow data, experience with optimization models, familiarity with the signal controller hardware, and knowledge of field operations including signal timing fine-tuning. Developing new signal timing parameters for efficient traffic flow is a time-consuming and expensive undertaking.

This report examines various cost-effective techniques that can be used to generate good signal timing plans that can be employed when there are insufficient financial resources to generate the plans using conventional techniques. The report identifies a general, eight- step process that leads to new signal plans: 1) Identify System Intersections; 2) Collect and Organize Existing Data; 3) Conduct a Site Survey; 4) Obtain Turning Movement Data; 5) Calculate Local Timing Parameters; 6) Identify Signal Groupings; 7) Calculate Coordination Parameters; and 8) Install and Evaluate New Plans. The report examines each of these steps and identifies procedures that can be used to minimize costs in each step. Special emphasis is placed on the costs of turning movement counts. The report develops a “tool box” of procedures and provides examples of how the tool box can be used when there is a moderate signal timing budget, when there is a modest signal timing budget, and when there is a minimum signal timing budget.

17. Key Word

Signal timing, turning movement data, signal timing optimization, time-space diagrams, manual methods, cycle, split, and offset.

18. Distribution Statement

19. Security Classif. (of this report)

20. Security Classif. (of this page)

21. No. of Pages

22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

Office of Operations