Offline Arterial Signal Timing Optimization for Closely Spaced Intersections

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


The stop-and-go driving behavior at a busy arterial causes a significant amount of fuel waste and emissions that could be reduced. For closely spaced intersections, the traditional bottom-up signal timing approach could fail under high volumes when the queues reach the upstream intersections. A well-coordinated arterial should manage the queue length to prevent the control from failing. Traditionally, coordination among signalized intersections for an arterial means finding the good offsets for each intersection. The control of the intersections along an arterial can also be coordinated by optimizing splits. Splits impact the capacity of an intersection. Similar to the highway, the capacity drop could cause growing queues. This work is based on the Virtual Phase-Link (VPL) model, a street traffic model designed for online traffic model predictive control, to obtain a top-down offline arterial signal timing. The VPL-based model can guarantee capacity consistency in intersections along an arterial. We, therefore, adopted the VPL-based model and developed an offline signal timing optimization approach. The proposed timing derived from the VPL-based offline signal timing optimization showed very good results in simulation. We also collected field experiment data, which demonstrated overall energy reductions and speed improvements on some sections of the study arterial.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Event13th Annual IEEE Green Technologies Conference, GREENTECH 2021 - Denver, United States
Duration: 7 Apr 20219 Apr 2021


Conference13th Annual IEEE Green Technologies Conference, GREENTECH 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-2C00-79426


  • Arterial
  • Offline Signal Timing
  • VPL model


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