Modeling and Evaluation of Traffic Signal Preemption near Railroad Crossings in Small Urban Areas

Railroad crossings are prevalent in small urban areas in the Mountain Plains region. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) has established different levels of priority control, which deal with different degree of modification of signal timing plans based on operating conditions and type of priority. Traffic signal preemption control is the most restriction priority control strategy. When the operation of a traffic signal is preempted, there is unconditional interruption of the normal signal timing. Signals on arterial corridors adjacent to railroad track have to be preempted from safety and efficiency standpoint. Different communities have practiced different traffic signal pre-emption strategies for signals near railroad crossings. The non-responsive traffic signal preemption may cause queue, congestion, and delay on surface/arterial streets as well queuing near tracks. Lack of clearance time for queues near railroad track can have safety implications. Traffic signal preemption disrupts the normal traffic signal cycle and the recovery time associated with this disruption is of interest and may result in congestion and increased delays on adjacent surface streets. This research would provide practical guidelines for low-cost operational and safety improvements using and related to traffic signal preemption strategies of signals near railroad crossings in small urban areas.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $52877
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    P.O. Box 6050, Department 2880
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108-6050
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Varma, Amiy

  • Start Date: 20100701
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190930
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
  • Source Data: MPC-350

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01466123
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT07-G-0008
  • Files: UTC, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:11PM