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U of MNUniversity of Minnesota
Center for Transportation Studies

Development of A Real-Time Arterial Performance Monitoring System Using Traffic Data Available from Existing Signal Systems

Principal Investigator:

Henry Liu, Associate Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Co-Investigator:

Project Summary:

Data collection and performance measurement for signalized arterial roads is an area of emerging focus in the United States. As indicated by the results of the 2005 Traffic Signal Operation Self-Assessment Survey, a majority of agencies involved in the operation and maintenance of traffic signal systems do not monitor or archive traffic system performance and thus have limited means to improve their operation. This research was in response to the Mn/DOT Problem Statement on Traffic Flow and Safety requesting real-time estimation of arterial traffic conditions using traffic data available from existing signal systems. With the support from the Transportation Department of Hennepin County in Minnesota, a system for high-resolution traffic signal data collection and arterial performance measurement was successfully built. The system, named SMART-SIGNAL (Systematic Monitoring of Arterial Road Traffic Signals), is able to collect and archive event-based traffic signal data simultaneously at multiple intersections. Using the event-based traffic data, SMART-SIGNAL can generate time-dependent performance measures for both individual intersections and arterials including intersection queue length and arterial travel time. The SMART-SIGNAL system has been deployed at an 11-intersection corridor along France Avenue in south Minneapolis, Minn., and the estimated performance measures for both intersection queue length and arterial travel times are highly consistent with the observed data.

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