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Dr. H. R. Varia Bhavya S. Patel (170900713008)

December 2017

TRAFFIC SIGNALS

All power operated devices (except signs) for regulating,

directing motorist or pedestrians are classified as traffic

signals.

The use of traffic signals for control of conflicting streams

of vehicular and pedestrian traffic is extensive in most of

the towns and cities.

The first traffic signal is reported to have been used in

London as early as in 1868 and was of the semaphore-

arm type with red and green lamps for night use.

ADVANTAGES OF TRAFFIC SIGNALS:

They can provide for an orderly movement of traffic.

they can increase the traffic-handling capacity of the intersection.

the right-angle type and pedestrian accidents.

They can be used too interrupt heavy traffic at intervals to permit other

traffic-vehicular or pedestrian-to cross.

to traffic, unlike manual controls which can stop and interrupt traffic

streams at the personal whim of the traffic controller.

DISADVANTAGES OF TRAFFIC SIGNALS:

Excessive delay to vehicles may be caused,

particularly during off-peak hours.

Unwarranted signal installations tend to encourage

the disobedience of the signal indications.

Drivers may be induced to use less adequate and

less safe routes to avoid delays at signals.

Accident frequency, especially of the rear-end type,

may increase.

TRAFFIC SIGNAL

TERMINOLOGY:

Cycle: It is Indicating complete sequence of Signal.

Green Time (G)-The amount of time for which a movement

receives a green indication.

receives a Yellow indication. (Change Interval)

receives a Red indication.

All Red Interval (AR): All red interval the display time of a red

indication for all approaches. (for wide intersection and for

pedestrian crossing).

or one phase and beginning of a green indication for another.

Offset: Time laps in seconds between the beginning of a green

intersection.

PHASE DESIGN:

The signal design procedure involves six major steps. They

include:

(1) Phase design,

(2) Determination of amber time and clearance time,

(3) Determination of cycle length,

(4) Apportioning of green time,

(5) Pedestrian crossing requirements, and

(6) Performance evaluation of the design obtained in the

previous steps.

The objective of phase design is to separate the conflicting

movements in an intersection into various phases, so that

movements in a phase should have no conflicts. If all the

movements are to be separated with no conflicts, then a large

number of phases are required. In such a situation, the objective

is to design phases with minimum conflicts or with less severe

conflicts.

There is no precise methodology for the design of phases. This

is often guided by the geometry of the intersection, the flow

pattern especially the turning movements, and the relative

magnitudes of flow. Therefore, a trial and error procedure is often

adopted. However, phase design is very important because it

affects the further design steps.

TWO PHASE SIGNALS:

Two phase system is usually adopted if through traffic is

significant compared to the turning movements. For example in

Figure 2, non-conflicting through traffic 3 and 4 are grouped in a

single phase and non-conflicting through traffic 1 and 2 are

grouped in the second phase.

However, in the first phase flow 7 and 8 offer some conflicts and

are called permitted right turns. Needless to say that such

phasing is possible only if the turning movements are relatively

low. On the other hand, if the turning movements are significant,

then a four phase system is usually adopted.

Figure 1

Figure 2

FOUR PHASE SIGNALS:

There are at least three possible phasing options. For example, figure 3

shows the most simple and trivial phase plan. where, flow from each

approach is put into a single phase avoiding all conflicts. This type of

phase plan is ideally suited in urban areas where the turning

movements are comparable with through movements and when through

traffic and turning traffic need to share same lane. This phase plan could

be very inefficient when turning movements are relatively low.

Figure 4 shows a second possible phase plan option where opposing through

traffic are put into same phase. The non-conflicting right turn flows 7 and 8 are

grouped into a third phase. Similarly flows 5 and 6 are grouped into fourth

phase. This type of phasing is very efficient when the intersection geometry

permits to have at least one lane for each movement, and the through traffic

volume is significantly high.

Figure 5 shows yet another phase plan. However, this is rarely used in

practice.

• There are five phase signals, six phase signals etc. They are

normally provided if the intersection control is adaptive, that is, the

signal phases and timing adapt to the real time traffic conditions.

CYCLE TIME:

Cycle time is the time taken by a signal to complete one full

cycle of iterations. i.e. one complete rotation through all signal

indications. It is denoted by C.

Figure 6 illustrates a group of N vehicles at a signalized

intersection, waiting for the green signal. As the signal is

initiated, the time interval between two vehicles, referred as

headway, crossing the curb line is noted. The first headway is

the time interval between the initiation of the green signal and

the instant vehicle crossing the curb line. The second headway is

the time interval between the first and the second vehicle

crossing the curb line. Successive headways are then plotted as

in figure 7.

Group of vehicles at a signalized intersection

Figure 6 waiting for green signal

The first headway will be relatively longer since it includes the

reaction time of the driver and the time necessary to accelerate.

The second headway will be comparatively lower because the

second driver can overlap his/her reaction time with that of the

first driver’s. After few vehicles, the headway will become

constant. This constant headway which characterizes all

headways beginning with the fourth or fifth vehicle, is defined as

the saturation headway, and is denoted as h. This is the

headway that can be achieved by a stable moving platoon of

vehicles passing through a green indication. If every vehicles

require h seconds of green time, and if the signal were always

green, then S vehicles per hour would pass the intersection.

Therefore,

Where S is the saturation flow rate in vehicles per hour of green time

per lane, H is the saturation headway in seconds. As noted earlier, the

headway will be more than h particularly for the first few vehicles. The

difference between the actual headway and h for ith vehicle and is

denoted as ei shown in figure 7. These differences for the first few

vehicles can be added to get start up lost time, l1 which is given by,

The green time required to clear N vehicles can be found out as,

start-up lost time, and h is the saturation headway in seconds.

EFFECTIVE GREEN TIME:

Effective green time is the actual time available for the vehicles

to cross the intersection. It is the sum of actual green time (Gi)

plus the yellow minus the applicable lost times. This lost time is

the sum of start-up lost time (l1) and clearance lost time (l2)

denoted as tL. Thus effective green time can be written as,

LANE CAPACITY:

The ratio of effective green time to the cycle length (gi/C) is

defined as green ratio. We know that saturation flow rate is the

number of vehicles that can be moved in one lane in one hour

assuming the signal to be green always. Then the capacity of a

lane can be computed as,

saturation flow rate in vehicle per hour per lane, C is the cycle time

in seconds.

CRITICAL LANE:

During any green signal phase, several lanes on one or more

approaches are permitted to move. One of these will have the

most intense traffic. Thus it requires more time than any other

lane moving at the same time. If sufficient time is allocated for

this lane, then all other lanes will also be well accommodated.

There will be one and only one critical lane in each signal phase.

The volume of this critical lane is called critical lane volume.

DETERMINATION OF CYCLE LENGTH:

The cycle length or cycle time is the time taken for complete

indication of signals in a cycle. Fixing the cycle length is one of

the crucial steps involved in signal design.

If tLi is the start-up lost time for a phase i, then the total start-up

lost time per cycle,

C is the cycle length in seconds,

Tg total effective green time.

Let the total number of critical lane volume that can be accomodated per

hour is given by Vc , Then Vc = (Tg/h) Substituting for Tg and Si from

above equations in the expression for the maximum sum of critical lane

volumes that can be accommodated within the hour and by rewriting, the

expression for C can be obtained as follows:

• The above equation is based on the assumption that there will be

uniform flow of traffic in an hour. To account for the variation of

volume in a hour, a fact or called peak hour factor, (PHF) which is the

ratio of hourly volume to the maximum flow rate, is introduced.

Another ratio called v/c ratio indicating the quality of service is also

included in the equation. Incorporating these two factors in the

equation for cycle length, the final expression will be,

GREEN SPLITTING :

Green splitting or apportioning of green time is the proportioning

of effective green time in each of the signal phase. The green

splitting is given by,

Where, Vci is the critical lane volume and tg is the total effective

green time available in a cycle. This will be cycle time minus the

total lost time for all the phases. Therefore,

• Where C is the cycle time in seconds, N is the number of phases,

and tL is the lost time per phase. If lost time is different for different

phases, then effective green time can be computed as follows:

Where tLi is the lost time for phase i, N is the number of phases and C is

the cycle time in seconds. Actual green time can be now found out as,

available, yi is the amber time, And Li is the lost time for phase i.

SUMMARY

intersections where other control measures fail. The

signals operate by providing right of way to a

certain set of movements in a cyclic order. The

design procedure discussed in this chapter include

phase design, interval design, determination of

cycle time, computation of saturation flow, and

green splitting.

REFERENCES:

• William R McShane, Roger P Roesss, and Elena S

Prassas. Traffic Engineering. Prentice-Hall, Inc,

Upper Saddle River, New Jesery, 1998.

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