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WORKSHOP NOTES

Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and


Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
December 14-15, 2010
Institute of Transportation Engineers Conference Room
Washington, DC

Topic 1: INTRODUCTION
AGENDA
A copy of the Workshop Agenda is included as Attachment 1.
PARTICIPANTS
A sign-in sheet was provided to participants. The sign-in form includes a conflict of interest
statement that indicates the participants are agreeing to by their signature. The participant list,
including interested, individuals in the subject matter are included in Attachment 2.
WELCOME (BRAHMS)
Thomas Brahms, ITE Executive Director, welcomed the Workshop participants. LED traffic
signal usage has increased dramatically over the past decade resulting in significant reductions in
energy consumption. With increased usage the industry discovers issues that need to be
addressed. One such issue is weather related in that in certain conditions ice and snow build up
on the signals obscuring the indications.
The Institutes LED related standards continue to be reviewed and when appropriate revised to
address arising needs. The Institute in cooperation with the FHWA has scheduled this workshop
to determine the nature of the problem and what if any changes to our standards needs to be
made. We have assembled representatives from public agencies and industry.
Also present for the duration of the workshop is a representative from the Institutes legal
counsel to bring to our attention and to curtail any conversation with respect to antitrust issues.
WELCOME (ARNOLD)
Robert Arnold welcomed the Workshop participants from the perspective of USDOT and FHWA.
Bob indicated being able to clearly see traffic signals and save energy is very important to
stakeholders. DOT is concerned from a safety and motoring public perspective.
Participants introduced themselves and made a brief statement regarding what they were
expecting to learn through the workshop.

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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

WORKSHOP PRESENTATIONS
The Following Workshop presentations are available as attachments to the Workshop
Proceedings on the ITE Website. (Each presentation will be provided once the Proceedings are
finalized.)
Attachment 4
Scope of Workshop, Goal of Workshop and ITEs Task with USDOT, Edward R. Stollof
Agenda Item 5
Date: December 14, 2010
Attachment 5
Geographic, Environmental and LED Surface Conditions
Based on Literature Review, Edward R. Stollof
Institute of Transportation Engineers
Agenda Item 6
Date: December 14, 2010
Attachment 6
Combating the Effects of Snow and Ice on LED Traffic Signals:
The City of Green Bay Response, David J.A. Hansen, P.E., PTOE
City Traffic Engineer, City of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Department of Public Works, Traffic
Division
Agenda Item 8
Date: December 14, 2010
Attachment 7
Experience with Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Joanna Bush, P.E., State Traffic Signal Systems Engineer, Wisconsin DOT
Agenda Item 9
Date: December 14, 2010
Attachment 8
LED Snow Pack, Guillermo Ramos, New York State Department of Transportation
December 14, 2010

Agenda Item 10
Date: December 14, 2010

Attachment 9
ITE LED Traffic Signal Workshop on Snow and Ice Buildup: Crash, Risk, and Liability
Issues, Daren E. Marceau, PE, MS, Forensic Traffic Specialists, PLLC
Agenda Item 11
Date: December 14, 2010

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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

Attachment 10
SNOW SENTRY, Fortran Traffic Systems, Marty Gedhu,
Agenda Item 15
Date: December 14, 2010

Attachment 11
McCains Snow Scoop Visor, Matt Kelly
Agenda Item 16
Date: December 14, 2010

Attachment 12
Green Light Deicers, LLC, Thomas Stroud
Agenda Item 17
Date: December 14, 2010

Topic 2: Scope of ITE Workshop and ITE Task with USDOT

Formally address the snow and ice build up on-LED traffic signal modules within the
range of meteorological conditions under which the problem takes place.
Based on the problem definition, it is anticipated that revisions to the standards may need
to be made and solutions evaluated against prospective standards and testing procedures.
Tasks
o Survey of Agencies and Practice to Develop a Problem Definition
o Conduct Stakeholder Workshop
o (December 14-15)
o Workshop Follow-up
o Preparation of Informational Report

Topic 3: Environmental / Geographic Issues


Definition of the Problem

Scale
o Dakota County, MN: Experienced three events in 10 years. This is primarily a
spring event that occurs around the freezing in the morning and then, melts in the
afternoons when the problem resolves itself.
o MNDOT: A few storms per year primarily an issue in northern-part of Minnesota
(e.g. Bemedji). Problems occur in late fall and early spring.
o City of Minneapolis: Two events in six years that caused snow/ice build-up.
o Do we know how many times the set of unique factors have come together to
produce Perfect Storms in the USA and Canada?

Geography
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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

o
o
o
o

Northern tier states predominantly


Midwest
Canada
Check out the most recent blizzard

Factors
o Precipitation
o Type (rain, drizzle, sleet, snow, hail)
o Example: City of Minneapolis: This has consisted of a wet, 4-6 inch snow with
wind-driven from north/northwest followed by freezing temperatures leaving a
frozen layer between snow and LED traffic signal. Need crews to deal with it.
o In the York Region (Canada) they have found the key is the wet snow right at the
freezing and about 5 cm accumulation, plus sudden temperature drop.
o Colorado lows with counter rotating snows. Low areas impacted most
o The amount of snow was not a significant impact on the snow and ice build-up.
Combinations thereof:
o Is freezing rain in combination with snow also a concern? It appears that in many
situations the perfect storm starts with a freezing rain to provide snow surface to
stick on signal head -- just below freezing
Wind Direction / Gusts
Wind Speed
Temperature (including post-storm)
Temperature drop
Humidity / Moisture
Sky Conditions (including post-storm) (Air temperature?)
Temperature of signal lens and housing?
Cloudy conditions
Longevity (duration of snow/ice event)
Lenses materials and coatings?
Type of lenses did not matter, build-up still occurred.

Predictability
In southern Virginia, certain intersections more likely to accumulate snow and ice.
In Green Bay, WI certain corridors are more susceptible. Military Avenue, for example is
an arterial with wide open areas. Downtown areas can cause snow/ice build-up with
swirling winds.
MNDOT: Open areas are more of an issue
(Hehman) In Delaware, dont predict locations, just react to calls. See a lot of fluctuation
above/below freezing line raises as many issue with freezing rain / sleet.
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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

(Bush)Dont predict locations and respond to calls. Twice a year have this type of event
in December or late in April / March. Appears to be wet snow that we struggle with in
Wisconsin.
Have any agencies begun to develop procedures to formalize the analysis of the problem?
o Collecting data (amount of snow, etc.)?
o Any ad-hoc efforts to help quantify the problem?
The scale of this issue may change as we get more into active traffic management with
lane use signs or reversible lane signs.
o Contacted Paul Pisano (FHWA) with regard to the integration into weather
decision systems.
The ability to be able to actively monitor weather systems would be helpful. Traffic
engineers could change signal timing to all-red based on weather patterns.

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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

Topic 4: Three Case Studies


Case Studies
CITY OF GREEN BAY
Solutions Used to
Mitigate LED
Snow/Ice

Use swivel scrub on a


telescoping pole
Installed both vented
visors and clear covers
Chemical Deicer
Goal in these condition
is to have two displays
per approach clear with
overheads the first
priority
Test bed completed in
response to April 2010
storm

WISDOT

WisDOT currently owns/maintains


approximately 950 signalized
intersections. All intersections were
upgraded to LEDs by 2006.
In Wisconsin we historically have
experienced approx. 2 snow events
per year where conditions are just
right to obscure signal heads
Winter 2008/2009: A handful of
Fortrans Snow Sentrys were
purchased in 2008 and installed at
isolated intersections around the state.
Winter 2010: WisDOT purchased and
installed a handful of McCains
Scoop Tunnel Visors and has installed
them at the same intersections as the
Snow Sentry installations so that we
can do side by side comparison.
Also purchased Intelights Automatic
Lens Defrosters. Intellilight lens
defroster. Had issues with how to
wire with Leotek lenses.

NYSDOT

Intersection is placed into ALL RED


(we use the stop timing switch,
catching a all red timing interval)
Traffic Signal Maintenance vehicles
are pulled into the intersection to block
traffic.
Personnel quickly remove packed
snow with long paint roller extensions
equipped with a brush.
This process takes less than 2 minutes.
Snow Scoop Tunnel Visors. These
devices provided no noticeable
benefits, and in some cases resulted in
additional snow stack on top of the
hoods.
Pressurized windshield washer fluid.
This was useful to remove packed
snow but it didnt prevent snow from
sticking on lenses.
Use of Rain-X?

Something that draws electricity not


high on the list especially with only 2
events per year event.

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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

Case Studies
CITY OF GREEN BAY

WISDOT

How much is defroster and its energy


consumptions? Wattage consumption
of Intellilight is 34 watts each

What is time and cost for your staff to


clean off heads?
The States model is to clean the LED
heads where they receive calls. The
state will not pull crews from away
knock downs. They do not have the
quantification of time or money.
Is Intellilight on all the time?
It is listed as 41-degree F creep
thermostat from product sheet.

Participant
Comments

Results

Locations evenly split


between post and mast arm
mounted
What is the effectiveness of
using a deicing compound?
Does stacking in vertical
array affect clearing?

NYSDOT

Any experience with egg crate (or


honeycomb) visors vs. other types of
visors seen more in southern US?
No. These just act as a snow
accumulator in snow.

Treatments yield small but


different results
Visor performed slightly
better than cover in
overhead north-facing
horizontal signals
Need to evaluate vertical
signal visor vs. cover
De-Icer Chemical worked
goodbut for how long?

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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

Topic 6: Maintenance/Resource Issues


The following is a summary of maintenance/resources issues:
In Green Bay, there are four laborers as part of the electrical shop. All are union
employees subject to 1.5 times or double time depending on their call-in status. There are
also 16 plow drivers, including the publics eyes to determine the issue for the motoring
public. If unsafe conditions observed/reported to the operations manager, then who is on
call, in order, would go out to clean two indications for each approach. Their work is built
into all of the citys maintenance and overtime activities and each activity is evaluated on
case-by-case basis to determine if it can be assigned from other work.

Jurisdictions have a fixed set of resources. Some jurisdictions may have proactively
addressed the snow and ice build-up issue by adding a snow shield, but it may be an
equivalent cost to an LED lens. Due to the opportunity cost involved, some cities may
only partially install LED traffic signals.

NYSDOT approach is reactionary because resources are not available to be proactive.


The environmental and budgetary conditions in New York State do not allow the DOT to
be proactive.

NYSDOT: In maintenance budgets everything is getting squeezed. More maintenance is


getting done with fewer people. NYSDOT has a maintenance crew of 110 for 6,000
signals including ITS; we now have fewer people then when we were maintaining 3,000
signals.

City of Green Bay: The concern is that any monetary savings from reduced consumption
of energy of LED traffic signals are not transferred back into the maintenance budget.
Typically, the utility costs under are a different budget and cannot be transferred to
maintenance activities.

Topic 7: LED Energy Issues


The following is a summary of discussion points on LED energy issues:
Department of Energy requirements establish maximum allowable power consumption of
the technology.
There could be a recommendation to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Section 135,
to provide location-based exemptions.
Any active system (e.g. defrosting) would need to be dynamically monitored by sensors
and turned on when necessary and not on all of the time.
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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

See Energy Policy Act, Section 42 U.S.C. S. 6295 (does not include yellow traffic
signals).
o ATTACHMENT __ 42 U.S.C. 6295: Energy Conservation Standards
Could a heater element be considered as a separate maintenance system.?
One item that restricts technology that increases power consumption is the energy star
ratings. Some are capped in terms of wattage (by color) and heating will require power.
o Will Energy Star provide peaks to allow peak moments to remove the snow or
is it a secondary system that will not fall under the requirement? Is there a work
around for the additional wattage requirements since the heater element may not
be considered part of the signal ball?
An option would be to ask for change to permit the use of heaters, if heaters are the
desirable solution.
A reduction in the amount of time needed to use the heaters to use the heaters could be
requested. The amount of time to use the heater would be based on the conditions to
prevent ice and snow build-up.
Even with heaters, we may have conditions when lenses will get snow-packed.
*ITE should serve as an initiator to write a letter to the Department of Energy to further
modification to US code
NYSDOT is concerned with the scale of application (6,000 three color heads or 150,000
LED indications). They are very concerned about a requirement that could be imposed by
a national standard and the associated cost to implement the standard. The cost would
include the energy cost to power and generate enough heat to clear the lens.

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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

Topic 8: MANUFACTURERS PRESENTATIONS AND COMMENTS


MANUFACTURER
McCain

PRODUCT
Snow Scoop
Visor

Fortran Traffic
Systems, Ltd.

Snow Sentry

Description of Product

Louvered vent on an industry


standard tunnel visor

Funnels wind across the signal


face

A clear geometrically designed


shield would guard the LED
module from snow and ice
Impact Resistant Acrylic
UV Stabilized
Improves visibility
Zero Power
Low Maintenance
Installation Friendly (Retrofit
& New)
Lightweight
Patent Pending Design

Participant Comments

On market for 2 years.

DelDOT, NYSDOT and PennDOT all


testing product

Still need to more testing under multiple


different scenarios like the horizontal
applications mentioned from Green Bay
(although the new MUTCD moves
toward vertically mounted design of
signal heads)

Snow Scoop visor intended to be a


replacement for tunnel visor

Snow Scoop visor in a vertical


installation not very effective.

OK for top of array but not bottom

Green indication will be cleaner in that


case.

City of Green Bay conducted limited


testing Snow Scoops did appear to
provide less obstruction as well.

PHOTO (if available)

Have any coatings such as Rain-X or


other materials been used to make the
product more slippery? Answer. There is
only acrylic on this product; no coatings.
What is effect of different types of
mountings? Answer. This product is not
designed originally for a tunnel visor
application but for cut-off visors
Comment. Since this product is acrylic
and not polycarbonate, one of the
requirements in the ITE standard is a
scratch test since acrylics tend to abrade
and scratch, was this performed?
There are two ways to meet the ITE test

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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

MANUFACTURER

Green Light Deicers

PRODUCT

Mobile anti /
deicing device

Description of Product

It would not require retrofitting


every intersection
It could be flexibly deployed
to meet changing weather and
road conditions including
construction projects
It could provide an interim
solution while retrofitting was
slotted into the normal PM
schedule
It can draw upon aircraft
anti/deicing experience

Participant Comments
1) use of a polycarbonate and 2) to apply
a hard coating on a surface to support
scratch/resistance test.

City of Green Bay conducted limited


testing of Snow Sentry: Accumulated in
storm on center. Less obstruction with
overhead signals. Poles had more build
up not sure if conclusion can be made
yet.

Cover designed for cut away visors not


tunnel visor so part of the explanation
for lower performance

Minnesota has a lot of small cities around


state that are several hours away from a
maintenance base. This application
maybe good for a concentrated
application like cities.
It was the consensus of the participants
that the cost of this type of application
would render it infeasible for the scale of
the problem.

Econolite

Not Applicable

Any experience with overseas


international solutions?

Excel Opto

Not Applicable

As a manufacturer have not had specific


feedback from customers. We have
learned about different options but will
need to consider cost and resources.

PHOTO (if available)

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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

MANUFACTURER
Dialight

PRODUCT
TraStar, Inc.

Leotek Electroniks

TraStar, Inc.

GE Lighting
Solutions

Description of Product

Participant Comments

A lot of investigation on passive slot


studies need to be longer term studies.
Looking at an active solutionit does tie
up resources. For a 20 to30 watt heater,
do you want to activation by temp or by
temp and optics coverage? We will need
some guidance from end users for the
direction for manufacturers to go.
Manufacturers dont want to pour money
into products that are prohibitive to use.

Agree with comments from Dialight. We


do hear comments often and have seen
McCain product when provided to Erie,
PA. It does tie up resources and do the
states and municipalities have the
resources to allocate to this.

Regarding glycol or other de-icer


solution spraying on LEDs: Does it have
any corrosive effect on LED and what
would the effect be on ITE standard?

Glycol on polycarbonate may be an issue.


There is an epoxy hard coat on lens for
shipping. It is applied now on aircraft
but we would need to do research on the
proper PSI for application.

Agree with Dialight and Leotek. We need


input from cities. Is it possible to do?
Yes.
The real question is what is any agency
willing to pay for a solution? This runs
contrary to price decline in LED
modules. Suggest a survey of DOTs as
input so manufacturers can react

PHOTO (if available)

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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

MANUFACTURER

TraStar, Inc.

PRODUCT

Description of Product

Participant Comments
accordingly. Manufacturers need
feedback but until then our hand are tied.

PHOTO (if available)

Now there is not a permanent solution.


We as manufacturers need to hear what
the customers want.

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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

Topic 9: Solutions
See Sample Solution Activity Matrix. A matrix has been developed that looks at four
combinations of solutions:

Reactive and Active


Reactive and Passive
Proactive and Active
Proactive and Passive

REACTIVE

PROACTIVE

ACTIVE

PASSIVE

Maintenance crews respond to telephone


calls; clear LEDs.

Maintenance crews respond to telephone


calls; clear LEDs.

Crews apply application of lens cleaning


system annually as preventative measure.

Visors or Hoods are purchased for LED


signal heads; they do not require
maintenance crew activity.
Jurisdiction/agency tracks weather/LED
signal data and predict specific signals,
corridors where snow and ice build-up
occur; Based on weather forecast and
location data or active traffic
management, maintenance crews
systematically clear specific LED signal
heads.

Jurisdiction/agency tracks weather/LED


signal data and predict specific signals,
corridors where snow and ice build-up
occur; Based on weather forecast and
location data or active traffic
management, maintenance crews
systematically clear specific LED signal
heads.
Application of lens cleaning system
annually as preventative measure.
Maintenance crews may spray de-icer on
signals as well.

Visors or Hoods are purchased for LED


signal heads; they do not require
maintenance crew activity.

Reactive Solutions
1. Maintenance crews responding to telephone calls; clearing LED signals with
brushes/broom as required.
Proactive Solutions
2. Prediction of specific LED signals/corridors where LED signal heads are likely to
experience snow and ice build-up based on the Perfect Storm factors. Once predictions
are made, maintenance crews can be dispatched in accordance with a specific plan within
a jurisdiction. (Maintenance Crews responding with low-tech brushes and brooms as
required.)
Passive Solution
3. The McCain Snow Scoop Visor is a louvered vent that funnels wind across the signal face.

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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

4. The Fortran Traffic Systems Snow Sentry is a clear geometrically designed shield would guard
the LED module from snow and ice
These are the two passive solutions that were presented at the Workshop. The participants were
asked if they knew of other solutions that were in the marketplace. ITE will continue to request
information from all stakeholders concern potential solutions that may be available nationally and
internationally regarding the snow and ice build-up issue on LED signal heads.

Active Solution
5. Maintenance of lenses on an annual basis; the application of lens cleaning system
including a coating or solution to prevent snow from sticking on the lenses.
New Solutions
Electrical and Other Heating Elements (See Energy discussion)
Heated visors
Thermal or electric treatment of LED lens
o Issue: Are the jurisdictions willing to pay additional, higher cost per unit for
heating? Would these costs be considered an operating or maintenance cost?

Topic 10: MUTCD (Regulatory/Guidance Solutions)


What type of signaling is absolutely necessary during a storm? What is the minimum signaling
requiring so that the issues can be resolved from two regulatory/guidance/alternate control
standpoints?

As a policy, the State of Wisconsin seeks to have two signal displays per movement to be
available at all times.

There was concurrence that clearing fewer signal heads is easier and less delay on the
motoring public.

*It was suggested to include a minimum requirement for cleared signals in the MUTCD.

It was noted that issues worthy of discussion with NCUTCD.

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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

Topic 11: Data Collection

Is there a database that would allow us to log and track environmental conditions (e.g.
humidity, wind direction)
We need to make sure we gather good data before trying to come up with a solution.
There is no such database today.
*An action item is noted to investigate how much of the data is accessible, where it might
be located and whether its useful.
Bob Arnold indicated that FHWAs weather group interfaces with road weather data. It is
through what is called CLARUS. What is missing is any data regarding when the signals
are blocked. If this is known, we could go out and match up the weather data with the
blocked signal location data.
o CLARUS is both a system as well as architecture that collects and disseminates
data from road conditions. Has a web site: www.clarusinitiative.org . It contains
American roads only at present. Arnold was uncertain whether Canadian agencies
could be able to participate.
o Through the CLARUS initiative FHWA has relationship with FAA. Most of cold
states are in CLARUS system. Trying to define micro-predictable solutions.
WisDOT tracks all phone calls reporting the location of signal blockages; so this agency
can report that information in relation to weather data.
David Noyce indicated that schools of meteorology could be a source of assistance.
Michael Morgan, professor at the University of Wisconsin collects weather data. This
data could be correlated with conditions that lead to signal blockages. Perhaps the
meteorology community could work with engineers especially if there are grant
opportunities.
The military has weather stations all around the world where data is also collected that
may assist in trying to predict the location of blocked LED signal heads.

Topic 12: Research Needs


TOPIC 12 (A): TESTING
Data collection: two options. Field data collection, have a current group of participants to
provide data and data collection in a laboratory environment (cold weather labs).
Virginia Tech has a test lab roadway that can produce weather conditions including snow.
Bob Arnold indicated that testing should come first based on data; standards should not
be revised at this time.
There is a need to specifically define the meteorological conditions that lead to the snow
and ice build-up on LED traffic signals. Unless these conditions are known, we as an
industry cannot provide solutions.
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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

If the industry is to develop amendments to the national LEDS standard, we cannot do it


guidelines. Test labs must know what they can and cannot do.
It was agreed that if we developed a new standard now, we could exclude potential
solutions.
There is a strong consensus to developing a guideline, but the problem needs to be
identified first and we need to have a proper way to create a guideline that is testable, test
specification that can be validated, to formalize a testable and practical guide.
We as an industry need to look at the problem carefully to recreate it in a way that is
stable and predictable.
Have not seen wide or long term testing due to recent nature of problems and recent
adoption LEDs
Extensive testing of the solutions have not been tried out across the nation to test any
given solution or approach to the solution
Users needs need to be established based on the development of testing guidelines using
uniform criteria against field conditions/controlled conditions.
TOPIC 12 (B): S TANDARDS
For all signal indications by developing more standards we will be placing unreasonable
demands on maintenance crews and agencies since there are not enough resources. We do
not want to create more regulations for ourselves; solutions are welcomed that do not
involve a lot of crews.

Last thought there is not a lot of historic data. We need to continue collecting data and
start a testing process so that better predictions can be made to determine when agencies
must declare a state of emergency.

Perhaps general guidelines and/or a policy could be developed for snow states. Perhaps
funding or grants could be secured for manufacturers to develop general standards for
innovative solutions once testing is completed.

A revised standard might be in the future however, studies need to be completed first. For
example, if an ultra-smooth surface prevents snow from sticking this could be included
in a standard but research is required to provide that it is true.
We need to establish test procedures and concepts that can be used for testing facilities.
(e.g. testing for water ingress)

NYSDOT encourages guidelines, but discourages the use of protocol standards. Any
performance standard should include a low tech solution to the problem. Remember to
keep in mind the scope of the problem.
o In New York, this condition happens 10-20 times a year and affects a small
number of signals.
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Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

More cities need to quantify the problem and conditions should be identified.
Performance standards should developed and include rigorous standards.
Low tech solutions are a preference.
NYSDOT discourages the industry from developing standards that require high
tech solutions due to cost.
o The majority of the agencies are low-tech solutions.
o
o
o
o

Have we conducted research on the LED snow and ice build-up issue from an
international perspective?
o If anyone is aware of any results, bring it to our attention and will coordinate
with everyone on the specifics.

**Regarding the existing LED standard, we should review it, to make sure that there is
nothing within it that would keep us from solving the snow and ice build-up problem.

TOPIC 12 ( C ): CASE STUDIES: IDEAS FOR TWO CASE STUDIES TO BE INCORPORATED IN


THE ITE I NFORMATION REPORT.
As part of the information report that ITE is to develop for FHWA, two detailed case
studies is included as part of the effort. The case studies would include interviews with
two jurisdictions that implemented solutions for different snow events.
o Is this of value to the group?
o Are we ready for a case study, or whether studying a problem would be helpful?
o We are open for suggestions/ideas to the group.

The more data that is obtained through case studies, the more evident solutions will be.
Case studies are a big part of it. Getting data from state DOTs would lead us to
understanding the problem better.

Can we do a comparison study? How can we better understand what creates the
[meteorological] events?

The City of Green Bay will [in the development of a case study] given the flexibility that
comes as a local municipality. It is easy to conduct a study. The limitation is that there are not
many snow events that meet the condition within a two-year period.

MNDOT has difficulty getting responses on weather conditions. If there is a test site on the
Internet, they could observe it.

MNDOT could request their Districts to keep a log of calls and track weather for blocked
LED signals.

Dave Hansen indicated that tracking calls is good; however, it may not catch everything; it
would be better to track a particular site.
18

Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

Bob Arnold stated that many states are being proactive with advance treatment; however
variations are large.

Joanna Bush (WisDOT) stated that her agency could install fisheye cameras for a 360-degree
intersection view from which we can constantly monitor conditions.

How can we define meteorological conditions for case studies?

** Action Item: City of Green Bay, MN DOT, and WI DOT at ITEs future request could
begin to develop case study information.

TOPIC 12 (D): ADDITIONAL RESEARCH NEEDS


Are we dealing with snow and ice sticking to the lens? And is volume is so heavy that the
lens is being blocked by the snow build-up around the lens. Therefore need to research
two different problems.
Is a battery back-up system smart enough system to determine the direction of the wind?

Topic 13: Need to Define User Needs: LED Snow/Ice


Accumulation Problem
1. Users need to maintain signal indications free of snow accumulation as
part of safe and effective operation of signal systems in all weather
conditions including snow and ice.
2. Snow accumulation on LED signal indications seems to wary widely
based on environmental factors which needs to studied further to help
public agencies isolate the frequency of occurrence and the problem
locations. An approach that stands up to scientific analysis and review
needs to be undertaken to defining the problem and its variance across
the nation and environmental conditions..
a. Snow and ice accumulation varies widely across the US
b. Wet sticky snow seems to cause more accumulation on lenses
than the dry powder
c. Snow accumulation on lenses also seems to depend on the
location and direction of signal in relation to snow fall and the
surrounding terrain (open fields versus downtown)
19
Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

d. Snow accumulation also seems to depend on wind speed and


direction
e. Underlying ice accumulation sometimes precedes snow
accumulation causing snow to stick to the lens
3. Users need solutions to be passive and impose a minimal burden on
maintenance personnel and cost of maintenance. Requirements and
design criteria need to define this user need and the solutions should
support the same.
4. Users need to be able to test solutions using uniform criteria (or a
standard) against filed conditions prior to extensive rollout
5. Users need to solve the snow accumulation problem for currently
operating LED signal indications as well as future installations
a. Solutions are needed for both new systems and retrofitting
current LED signal indications. The solutions need not be the
same for both situations.

Topic 14: SUMMARY


1. It is too early to develop a standard. We need to understand what may and may
not work. Since the snow and ice build-up on LED traffic signal lenses is a very
infrequent event, as long as there is something in place to mitigate these effects,
some solutions are in place at this time as we go forth in the conduct of future
analysis and studies.
2. A more formal analysis of the snow/ice LED build-up problem is warranted.
3. The participants were leaning towards a low-tech, low-cost solution based on the
scale of the problem.
4. An action item is noted to investigate how much meteorological data is
accessible, where it might be located and whether its useful in trying to correlate
the data with blocked snow/ice LED traffic signal lenses. There does not appear to
be a database today.
5. ITE should serve as an initiator to write a letter and/or meet with the Department
of Energy to discuss the issue and determine if modification to the US code.
6. It was suggested to include a minimum requirement for cleared signals in the
MUTCD and to take the issue of blocked LED signal lenses to the NCUTCD for
consideration.
7. The City of Green Bay, MN DOT, and WI DOT at ITEs future request could
begin to develop case study information.
20
Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

8. Regarding the existing LED standard, we should review it, to make sure that there
is nothing within it that would keep us from solving the snow and ice build-up
problem.
9. The transportation industry need analyze the problem carefully, recreate in a
controlled condition, in a way that is stable and predictable and develop testing
guidelines.
10. ITE should develop a formal statement of user needs on the LED snow/ice
accumulation problem.

Topic 15: CLOSING REMARKS

Bob Arnold: If we knew solutions in advance, this workshop would not have been
productive.

Tom Brahms: This workshop has been an open and candid dialogue. It is important that we
continue this approach. As we gather additional information, we will make all information
available to both the private and public sectors and continue the dialogue to expand our
knowledge base. We will seek to see what may have been done in other countries. We would like
to open up this dialogue to the broader community. If you know of individuals or organizations
that should be part of it, please let us know.

21
Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

ATTACHMENT 1: FINAL AGENDA

22
Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

ATTACHMENT 2: ATTENDANCE AND INTERESTED PERSON LIST

Last Name
Addair
Alston
Andersen

First
Name
Lenny
Darrell
Carl

Arnold
Auger
Bogart
Brahms
Bruggeman
Bush
Cantor
Carr
Chen
Corlett
DAmico
Doss
Escobar

Robert
Chris
Matt
Tom
John
Joanna
Michael
Robert
Hank
Paula
Andrew
Mike
Luis

Farley
Filler
Foord
Gehdu

Eammon
Phil
Jonathon
Marty

Organization
City of Indianapolis
City of Thornton. CO
FHWA

FHWA Office of Operations


GE
Kopp Glass
ITE
WisDOT
Wisconsin DOT
City of Winnipeg Canada
City of Jenks, OK
EOI
Michigan DOT
Econolite
GE
City of Winnipeg Canada
Traffic Planning and Design,
Inc
Adams County, CO
City of Winnipeg Canada
Fortran Traffic

Email
Lenny.Addair@indy.gov
darrell.alston@cityofthornton.net

Carl.Andersen@dot.gov
Robert.Arnold@dot.gov
Christian.Auger@GE.com
mbogart@koppglass.com
tbrahms@ite.org
John.Bruggeman@dot.wi.gov
joanna.bush@dot.wi.gov
mcantor@winnipeg.ca
rcarr@jenksok.org
Hankchen@eoius.com
CorlettP@michigan.gov
AD'Amico@econolite.com
Michael.Doss@GE.com
lescobar@winnipeg.ca
efarley@trafficpd.com
pfiller@co.adams.co.us
jfoord@winnipeg.ca
Marty.Gehdu@fortrantraffic.com

Day
1 InPerso
n

Da
y
1We
b

Day
2 InPerso
n

Da
y2
We
b

Interest
ed
Person

23
Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

First
Name

Organization

Ham

Paul

Municipality of York, Ontario,


Canada

Hanrahan
Hansen
Harman
Hehman
Heydt
Hofer
Hoftiezer
Hopkins

Suzanne
Dave
Brian E.
Denny
Scott
Dallas
Heath
Raphael

Dakota County, MN
City of Green Bay
THE PIDCOCK COMPANY
DelDOT
Horizon Signal Technologies
City of Sioux Falls, SD
City of Sioux Falls, SD
Unknown

James
Kashani
Kelly

Deanna
Hamid
Matt

Fortran Traffic
Leotek
McCain

Kindsvater
Kotzenmac
her
Lachmann
Lee
Legg
Lin
Litteer
Logan

Brent

Wyoming DOT

Jerry
John
San
Bill
Allen
John
Russell

MnDOT
TEC Engineering
Colorado DOT
Washington State DOT
EOI
New York State DOT
Fortran Traffic

Last Name

Email

Paul.Ham@york.ca
Suzanne.Hanrahan@co.dakota.m
n.us
daveha@ci.green-bay.wi.us
bharman@pidcockcompany.com
Denny.hehman@state.de.us
scott.horizon@yahoo.com
dhofer@siouxfalls.org
HHoftiezer@siouxfalls.org
Unknown
deanna.james@fortrantraffic.co
m
hamid@leotek.com
mkelly@mccain-inc.com
Brent.Kindsvater@dot.state.wy.u
s
Jerry.Kotzenmacher@state.mn.us
jlachmann@teceng.com
LeggB@wsdot.wa.gov
allenlin@eoius.com
jlitteer@dot.state.ny.us
russell.logan@fortrantraffic.com

Day
1 InPerso
n

Da
y
1We
b

Day
2 InPerso
n

Da
y2
We
b

Interest
ed
Person

24
Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

Last Name

First
Name

Organization

Mackprang
Mahmoudi

Peter
Jina

Marceau
Montoya

Daren
Larry

Moorman
Morgan
Narla

City of Thornton. CO
City of Winnipeg Canada
ITE

Ramos
Richey
Robertson
Sauter
Schopp

Kent
Jody
Siva R.K.
Douglas
E.
Frank
David
Toni
Guillerm
o
Tatiana
Steve
Jeff
Bruce

Sebastian
Semones
Shebeeb

Kristi
Tim
Shebeeb

Dakota County, MN
City of Thornton. CO
Ministry of Transportation,

Noble
Northam
Noyce
Plascendcia

City of Medford, OR
ITE
Forensic Traffic Specialists,
PLLC
Utah DOT

Email

Peter.Mackprang@ci.medford.or.
us
jmahmoudi@ite.org
dmarceau@trafficsignalexpert.co
m
lmontoya@utah.gov
kent.moorman@cityofthornton.n
et
JMorgan@winnipeg.ca
snarla@ite.org

Day
1 InPerso
n

Da
y
1We
b

Day
2 InPerso
n

Da
y2
We
b

Interest
ed
Person

ITE
Webster, Chamberlain & Beau
University of Wisconsin
TraStar

dnoble@ite.org
noyce@engr.wisc.edu
toni@trastarusa.com

New York State DOT


ITE
Leotek
Wyoming DOT
NEMA

gramos@dot.state.ny.us
trichey@ite.org
srobertson@leotek.com
Jeff.Sauter@dot.state.wy.us
Bru_Schopp@nema.org
Kristi.Sebastian@co.dakota.mn.u
s
tim.semones@cityofthornton.net
Ousama.Shebeeb@ontario.ca

25
Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

Last Name

First
Name

Organization

Email

Day
1 InPerso
n

Da
y
1We
b

Day
2 InPerso
n

Da
y2
We
b

Interest
ed
Person

Ontario
Sobania
Stollof
Stroud
Swansegar
Swenka
Tavares
Tebow
Tian
Vines
Vinzenz
Vlasov
Watkins
Whitelock
Yong

Donald
Edward
R.
Thomas

City of Minneapolis
ITE
Green Light Deicers, Inc.
Kentucky Transportation
Cabinet
Colorado DOT
ITE
IMSA
TraStar
Dialight
Econolite
ITE
Fortran Traffic
HDR

Ted
David
Nicola
Lonnie
Peter
John
Mike
Natalia
Ted
Ron
Christoph
er
GE

Donald.Sobania@ci.minneapolis.
mn.us
estollof@ite.org
twstroud@everestkc.net
Ted.Swansegar@ky.gov
david.swenka@dot.state.co.us
ntavares@ite.org
ltebow@imsasafety.org
ptian@trastarusa.com
Jvines@dialight.com
mvinzenz@econolite.com
nvlasov@ite.org
ted.watkins@fortrantraffic.com
Ronald.Whitelock@hdrinc.com
Christopher.Yong@ge.com

26
Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

ATTACHMENT 3: 42 U.S.C. 6295: Energy Conservation


Standards
(a) Purposes
The purposes of this section are to (1) provide Federal energy conservation standards applicable to covered products; and
(2) authorize the Secretary to prescribe amended or new energy conservation standards for
each type (or class) of covered product.
(b) through (ff) establish standards for named products
(z) Traffic signal modules and pedestrian modules
Any traffic signal module or pedestrian module manufactured on or after January 1, 2006,
shall (1) meet the performance requirements used under the Energy Star program of the
Environmental Protection Agency for traffic signals, as in effect on August 8, 2005; and
(2) be installed with compatible, electrically connected signal control interface devices and
conflict monitoring systems.
(gg) Application date
Section 6295 of this title applies
(1)
(2) to products for which energy conservation standards are established under subsections
(w) through (ff) of this section on August 8, 2005, except that any State or local standard
prescribed or enacted before August 8, 2005, shall not be preempted until the energy
conservation standards established under subsections (w) through (ff) of this section take
effect.

27
Stakeholder Workshop to Solicit Feedback on LED Issues and Potential Solutions with Ice and Snow Build-Up on LED Traffic Signal Lenses
Workshop Dates: December 14-15, 2010
Draft Meeting Notes as of:: February 23, 2011

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