Assess Density of Signalized and Unsignalized Intersections along Corridor before Implementing Adaptive Signal Control Technology.

Study of Eight Corridors in Florida Suggests a High Density of Access Points along Corridor Reduces the Effectiveness of Adaptive Signal Control Technology.

Date Posted

Before and After-Implementation Studies of Advanced Signal Control Technologies in Florida

Summary Information

Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT) systems collect data, evaluate traffic signal performance based on functional objectives, and then update signal timing in response. Florida DOT commissioned a project to evaluate the effectiveness of ASCT across Florida using a before and after study approach and document the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches and implementations. The study evaluated the implementation of two ASCT systems at selected arterial corridors in eight different locations in Florida: Gainesville, Deland, Panama City Beach, Sarasota, Panama City, Pinellas, Manatee, and Bartow. The eight corridors included in the study varied in length from 1.1 to 9.2 miles and most had a relatively low density of intersections. Annual average daily traffic (AADT) on the corridors ranged from 28,750 to 52,185 vehicles/day.

Lessons Learned

  • ASCT yields better performance and higher return on investment when implemented on corridors with low intersection density, low volume side streets, and high demand but not oversaturated traffic conditions.
  • A high density of access points (both signalized and unsignalized intersections) along the corridor reduces the effectiveness of ASCT. Consider deploying access management steps such as closing non-essential access roads before ASCT is introduced.
  • Maintenance, training and appropriate staffing are key factors in the success of ASCT. Regular maintenance of detection and the overall ASCT system are necessary for successful operation. Including a maintenance contract with vendors, extensive training, and sufficient staffing can support successful implementation. 
  • Avoid introducing new and unfamiliar traffic patterns at the start of seasons with heavily seasonal traffic. Steps must be taken to educate travelers about ASCT, particularly with unfamiliar phasing and timing patterns.
  • Note that the frequency of signal retiming prior to ASCT installation varies widely among corridors (one to eight years). This could be an important factor in evaluating the effectiveness of the ASCT relative to “before” operations.
  • Consider issues such as accounting for additional staff hours for learning ASCT operations and arranging for funds for additional costs (such as camera maintenance) as part of the overall project.


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