Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures (ATSPM) Programs Can Help Agencies Manage Large Datasets and Maintain Agency Focus on Priority Locations and Metrics.

A Federal report evaluated ATSPM management and operations in several states.

Date Posted

A Methodology and Case Study: Evaluating the Benefits and Costs of Implementing Automated Traffic Signal Performance

Summary Information

This study introduced a flexible method to evaluate performance-based traffic signal operations and maintenance. The intent was to describe advantages and disadvantages of using a proactive, performance-based traffic signal monitoring process, executed through the Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures (ATSPM) Program as compared to a traditional reactive approach for monitoring and retiming traffic signals. The following agencies that adopted and incorporated the ATSPM approach were interviewed and participated in the study.

  • Utah DOT (UDOT)
  • Georgia DOT (GDOT) 
  • Pennsylvania DOT  (PennDOT) with personnel from Cranberry Township, PA
  • Lake County, Illinois DOT  (LCDOT)
  • Clark County, Washington
  • Maricopa County DOT (MCDOT).

The following lessons were derived from the source report.

  • Develop a Measures of Effectiveness (MOE) framework to focus attention on the most important metrics for each corridor. Large quantities of data may not be valuable if an agency does not know how to handle the data, determine when the data are abnormal, and cannot identify priority locations and metrics.
  • Challenge potential vendors to propose and implement new functionalities that will address specific performance objectives for signal operations and improve the effective use of staff time.
  • Prior to implementing an ATSPM program, have a systematic approach for describing the agency plans and objectives for managing and operating its traffic signal system. This will help provide clarity and identify which performance measures will be applicable to specific tasks.