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Improving Mobility on Segments with Closely Spaced Intersections in Urban Areas

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Document pages: 11 pages

Abstract: In this research, a strategy to improve mobility and reduce delay on road segments is explored via modeling and simulation. Thirty selected corridors with combination of signalized and unsignalized intersections were identified for this study. Each segment consists of at least one AWSC and two signalized intersections at which field data were obtained (lane configurations, signal timing, traffic volumes, etc.). The selected AWSC intersections on the segments were within 305 m (1000 feet) from the upstream or downstream signalized intersections. Synchro software program was utilized to model the existing condition of the segments based on which the strategy for mobility improvement was explored. The field data were used as input in Synchro software application to model two scenarios: existing or the “before” scenario, and the “after” scenario. The unsignalized intersections were signalized (and optimized) in the “after” scenario. The measures of effectiveness used to assess the efficiency of the strategy were average travel speed, control delay and 95th percentile queue length. The analyses were conducted for both the morning (AM) and evening (PM) peak periods. The results of the analyses showed reductions in control delay and 95th percentile queue lengths that were statistically significant, while the average travel speed of vehicles significantly increased at 5 level of significance. The evaluation determined that the signalization of some unsignalized intersections (which are 305 m or less from existing signalized intersections) may improve mobility despite the fact that these locations do not meet the MUTCD warrants for signalization. These findings would aid transportation engineers and planners to consider and evaluate this option when making decisions on signalization of intersections in urban areas.

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