D. Jolovic, A. Stevanovic, P.T. Martin

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Pages: 3-16

Several factors are usually considered when recommending left-turn phasing at signalized intersections: the volume of through traffic opposing the left-turn maneuvers, the volume of left-turn traffic, the speed of the opposing traffic, sight distance, crash history, and cycle length. The goal of this paper is to find the optimal signal phasing designs that can improve efficiency and safety of the particular signal design in the field in order to test current recommendations and guidelines on left-turn treatments. The researchers assess the impact of the number of rings in a phasing structure, the number of phases and whether to adopt lead or lag phasing on the safety and efficiency of a four-legged signalized intersection. A comprehensive set of 338 signal phasing designs is developed and the impacts are modeled using VISSIM microsimulation. The efficiency of signal phasing sets is evaluated in VISSIM, while the safety aspect is assessed using SSAM software. Optimal scenarios are tested using sensitivity analysis for various traffic flows. The findings show that the current left-turn guidelines may over-protect left-turners which results in reduced efficiency and left-turn delays that can be increased by up to 25%. Revised guidelines should contribute to the decreased delays for left turning vehicles, while keeping the safety standards high.

Keywords: left-turns; microsimulation; SSAM; conflicts; safety; signal optimization

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