Using Traffic Signals to Reduce Speeding Opportunities

Preventing speeding on multilane arterials is critical to safety. Traffic signal timing may be able to reduce incidence of dangerous speeding by removing opportunities to drive at high speeds through multiple intersections. New methods have been proposed for timing traffic signals in a way that supports traffic flow at a safe speed while also removing opportunities for drivers to progress through multiple intersections at dangerously fast speeds. Preliminary studies suggest that, compared to conventional arterial signal timing, they can reduce "speeding opportunities" - the number of cars arriving at an intersection on a stale green and with no vehicle ahead of them - by up to 50% with little or no change in average traffic delay. Objectives of this project include the following: (1) To do field tests to confirm this theory, measuring changes in speeding, speeding opportunities, traffic delay, and stops. (2) To develop a software tool that enables traffic engineers to estimate the number of speeding opportunities a traffic signal timing plan produces. That will allow engineers to develop and choose timing plans that improve safety while still supporting traffic flow. (3) To write a guidebook on timing traffic signals in a way that reduces speeding opportunities.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $140000
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Massachusetts Department of Transportation

    10 Park Plaza
    Boston, MA  United States  02116
  • Performing Organizations:

    Northeastern University

    Division of Research Management
    360 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA  United States  02115
  • Principal Investigators:

    Furth, Peter

  • Start Date: 20210701
  • Expected Completion Date: 20230531
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01779921
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Massachusetts Department of Transportation
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 27 2021 11:37AM