Visualizations of Travel Time Performance Based on Vehicle Reidentification Data

Stanley Young, Elham Sharifi, Christopher Day, Darcy Bullock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus Citations


This paper provides a visual reference of the breadth of arterial performance phenomena based on travel time measures obtained from reidentification technology that has proliferated in the past 5 years. These graphical performance measures are revealed through overlay charts and statistical distribution as revealed through cumulative frequency diagrams (CFDs). With overlays of vehicle travel times from multiple days, dominant traffic patterns over a 24-h period are reinforced and reveal the traffic behavior induced primarily by the operation of traffic control at signalized intersections. A cumulative distribution function in the statistical literature provides a method for comparing traffic patterns from various time frames or locations in a compact visual format that provides intuitive feedback on arterial performance. The CFD may be accumulated hourly, by peak periods, or by time periods specific to signal timing plans that are in effect. Combined, overlay charts and CFDs provide visual tools with which to assess the quality and consistency of traffic movement for various periods throughout the day efficiently, without sacrificing detail, which is a typical byproduct of numeric-based performance measures. These methods are particularly effective for comparing before-and-after median travel times, as well as changes in interquartile range, to assess travel time reliability.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)84-92
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 National Academy of Sciences.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-70600


  • cumulative frequency diagrams
  • traffic patterns
  • travel time


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