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Research Reports

Arterial Control and Integration

Description: This report documents the Washington State Department of Transportation's examination of the potential application of adaptive signal control and integrated traffic control systems in the Seattle Metropolitan area. The research project had two sets of objectives, one for advanced, or adaptive, signal control systems and one for control system integration. The primary objectives for the advanced signal control portion of the project were to (1) investigate adaptive signal control systems, such as SCOOT, SCAT, and OPAC, (2) evaluate the UTCS 1.5 generation signal system, (3) determine applicability of, and interest in, advanced signal systems in the Puget Sound Region, and (4) provide coordination with local agencies on research efforts in arterial traffic management. The primary objectives for the control system integration portion of the project were to (1) determine regional needs and interest in integrating control systems, and (2) provide coordination with local agencies on research efforts in integrated control systems. The researchers reviewed previous work in adaptive signal control and evaluated the Bellevue UTCS 1.5 signal system to determine the applicability of adaptive control in the Seattle area. Then they developed a framework for investigating integrated control system needs and met with jurisdictions throughout the Seattle Metropolitan area to discuss adaptive signal control and control system integration. Finally, they formulated conclusions and recommendations to help achieve improved coordination and integration of neighboring control systems. The UTCS 1.5 signal system has improved traffic flow on Bellevue's arterial network (volumes increased 17% with no significant changes in travel time), and the new system is easier to operate than the old UTCS 1.0 system. Of the adaptive control strategies investigated, UTCS 1.5 and OPAC show the most promise for implementation in the Seattle Metropolitan area. WSDOT should investigate the possibility of OPAC demonstration or test sites in the Seattle area. Local jurisdictions are interested in improved coordination and some degree of system integration.

  • Date Published: March, 1990
  • Publication Number: WA-RD 188.2
  • Last Modified: September 19, 2007
  • Authors: G. Scott Rutherford, Margaret Schroeder, Leslie N. Jacobson, Mark E. Hallenbeck.
  • Originator: Washington (State). Dept. of Transportation.
  • # of Pages: 60 p., 1,221 KB (PDF)
  • Subject: Adaptive control, Arterial highways, Highway traffic control, Improvements, Integrated systems, Signalization, Streets, Traffic control, Traffic flow, Traffic signal control systems, Traffic signal timing, Traffic signals.
  • Keywords: Adapative signal control, freeway and arterial integration, traffic signals, Urban Traffic Control System 1.5, Bellevue (Wash.), Puget Sound Region.
  • Related Publications: Evaluation of the Bellevue UTCS 1.5 Signal Control System, (WA-RD 188.1).


This abstract was last modified April 29, 2008