Scalable and Actionable Performance Measures for Traffic Signal Systems Using Probe Vehicle Trajectory Data

Jonathan Waddell, Stephen Remias, Jenna Kirsch, Stanley Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus Citations


Scalable and actionable performance measures for traffic signal systems provide opportunities for practitioners to measure and improve the transportation network. Historically, traffic signal improvements have relied on scheduled signal retiming based on limited data collection, or on the public to call and alert engineers of an issue. This inefficient method of improving signal timing led to the creation of automated traffic signal performance measures (ATSPMs). These metrics rely on expensive infrastructure, including detection and communications, which has produced barriers for numerous agencies to fully adopt. Recently, third-party data providers have begun to release vehicle trajectory data, which allows for enhanced signal metrics with no investment in physical equipment. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the use of these data and summarize the scalability of the created metrics. This work builds on previous efforts to quantify signal performance on nine intersections in Michigan, U.S. Ten signalized corridors in Columbus, Ohio, were chosen to scale a performance assessment using crowdsourced trajectory data. A total of 136 intersections were assessed in 2-h intervals using data from all weekdays in 2017. High-level corridor summary metrics including average percent of vehicles stopping (18%–32%), average delay (9.4–20.5 s), and level of travel time reliability (1.23–2.73) were calculated for each corridor direction. Intersection-level metrics were also introduced, which can be used by practitioners to identify problems, improve signal timings, and prioritize future infrastructure investments.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)304-316
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2020.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-76827


  • big data
  • performance measures
  • traffic signal optimization
  • trajectory data


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