Optimum Traffic Signal Settings to Improve Safety and Efficiency When Using Modern Detection Devices

Traffic signals settings have historically been developed using inductive loops as the predominant detection devices. These resulted in the configuration of using stop bar detectors for low speed approaches and multiple loop configurations for high speed approaches. These detector configurations and the associated traffic signal controller settings are documented in Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT's) Traffic Signal Operations Handbook, Second Edition. These settings include minimum green, passage time, maximum green, gap reductions, detector delay, and detector extension. Additional settings, such as detector switching, were not covered. Detection technology has changed significantly over the years. The advent of video detection has provided flexibility to TxDOT's engineers in detector design. The Traffic Signal Operations Handbook recognized the unique nature of video detection technology and recommended detector settings for video detection; however, signal controller settings using video detection were still influenced by the signal settings for inductive loops. In the past few years, additional detection technologies have been developed, namely radar, hybrid of video and radar, wireless detectors, and infrared detectors. A recently completed research project studied the capabilities of these modern detectors, but what is needed is the translation of the findings of these research projects to develop traffic signal controller settings that are appropriate for the detector technology selected (radar, hybrid, wireless, infrared) and the objective of the detection (high speed, low speed, trucks, bicycles, pedestrians). Having unique set of traffic signal controller settings that are appropriate to the detection technology being used will significantly improve the safety and efficiency of traffic signal operated by TxDOT and other agencies in Texas.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Jensen, Darrin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sunkari, Srinivasa

  • Start Date: 20160815
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180831
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01626211
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-6934
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 17 2017 2:51PM