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Priority Management for Vehicle Efficiency, Environment and Road Safety on Arterials

Objective

The main objectives of the project are to develop, test and produce recommendations for the application of integrated traffic control and management measures incorporating: queue control; public transport priority; environmental protection.
Recommendations are being developed, tested and produced for the application of integrated traffic control and management measures incorporating queue control, public transport priority and environmental protection.

Initially 3 areas of traffic control as applied to urban arterial corridors were reviewed (traffic calming, public transport priority and congestion management). 3 corresponding deliverables have been produced from which over 40 individual strategies have been extracted for further consideration. A 'Delphi' style approach has been used to carry out an initial ranking of the strategies. Now that this approximate ranking has been obtained, simulations are being carried out on the best strategies in order to determine their effects more accurately.

Extensive surveys have been carried out at the field trial sites in both Leeds and Turin, in preparation for the field trials which will take place.

Computer software has been produced to allow the Italian simulation model NEMIS to be linked to the United Kingdom SCOOT hardware, allowing it to directly drive the model.

The SCOOT urban traffic control (UTC) system is being installed at the field trial site in Leeds. This will allow the latest queue management strategies to be tried out. Permission has also been obtained to use the Italian SPOT UTC system during the United Kingdom field trials.

A new, much cheaper, method of implementing selective, vehicle detection is being investigated which will provide a practical way of giving priority to public transport. This uses a new form of transponder based on a small computer chip attached to an antenna. It is about 10 times cheaper than the traditional transponders previously used. This makes it practical to install the device on every bus in the fleet, an option that was not previously possible.
Technical Approach

Outline

The Project will begin by developing techniques in the 3 areas of: queue management, public transport priority; and traffic calming. Each of these techniques will then be tested individually by simulation of corridors in Turin and Leeds, the results of which will aid the design of integrated strategies encompassing all 3 areas. These integrated strategies will then be tested by simulation once again, prior to implementation of field trials in both cities. Evaluation of the trials will lead to design recommendations for use by traffic engineers and planners throughout Europe.

Detail

The work areas required to achieve the above are as follows.

Work Area 100: Design of Queue Management Techniques

This work area will begin with a review of current techniques of queue management, both those in actual use and those in development or at the theoretical stage.

The final part of this work area is to carry out a preliminary screening of those techniques surviving from the previous stage. This will be done using both NEMIS (a general purpose traffic simulation model developed in a previous DRIVE project), and ITS Graphical Model (a graphical model of queue propagation developed as part of a SERC project).

Work Area 200: Design of Public Transport Priority Techniques This work area will also begin with a review of current techniques, including bus lanes, and the use of traffic signal timings (with or without selective vehicle detection) to benefit public transport vehicles.

It is envisaged that implementation of bus priority measures would either be via physical measures (bus lanes), or by using traffic signals controlled by either SPOT or SCOOT.

Work Area 300: Design of Traffic Calming Techniques. Again this work area will begin with a review of current techniques, with the knowledge that these are much more advanced in some parts of the EEC than others. As with work area 100, the second stage would be to sift out those techniques which it is already known would be inappropriate for the sites under consideration.

Work area 400: Testing of Individual Techniques by Simulation. Whereas the ultimate aim is to develop and test integrated strategies at each site, it is necessary first of all to be confident of the effectiveness of the component parts of each strategy. This will be achieved by simulating each of the above techniques on a model of the actual test networks.

Work area 500: Design of Integrated Strategies. The techniques developed under work areas 100, 200 and 300 have different objectives, and the effect of implementing them in combination could be complex. It is certainly not sufficient to assume that the effects of the combination will be the sum of the parts. The aim of this work area is to produce well-designed integrated strategies, based on the results of the simulated tests of the individual techniques.

The process of testing and redesign will be iterated until each strategy design is considered adequately robust for field testing.

Work area 600: Design and Implementation of Field Trials. This work area is concerned with the selection of suitable test sites, installation of hardware and software necessary for implementing the chosen strategies and recording data for their evaluation, deciding on the basis for evaluation, planning the experimental design and data collection plan at each site, and finally implementing the strategies on street.

Work area 700: Evaluation of Field Trials. Each strategy will give rise to a number of effects of different kinds, some of which are obvious and measurable such as noise and pollution, and others which are difficult to quantify such as attitudes of residents, operators etc.

The evaluation of the strategies will involve measuring the more important effects as accurately as possible, and making comparisons both within sites (before and after for each traffic condition) and between sites. The overall evaluation process would lead to a report including design recommendations for use by traffic engineers and planners throughout Europe.

Key Issues

Identification of suitable individual control techniques
Identification of potential conflicts between the needs of congestion relief, public transport enhancement and the environment
Achievement of synergy among the control techniques
Development of NEMIS simulation model to test strategies
Means of implementing strategies via the traffic control systems SPOT and SCOOT
Development of SCOOT-NEMIS interface
Conduct of public participation prior to demonstration trials
Design of evaluation methodology
Production of European design recommendation for urban arterial control.

Expected Achievements

It is expected that the field trials will demonstrate the possibility of achieving positive control of traffic on congested urban arterials in such a way that public transport is freed from the delays suffered by other traffic, rat-running through adjacent side streets is discouraged, levels of pollution are reduced, pedestrian safety enhanced, and the extent of traffic queues controlled.

Expected Impact

The demonstrations and accompanying reports will be widely publicised, and it is expected that they will form the basis of future standard practice in Europe.

Contribution to Standardisation

The test beds for the project are in the UK and Italy, which are very dissimilar in terms of their traffic behaviour, moreover the two cities involved have very different characteristic street patterns. Strategies which are successful in both these locations are therefore likely to be applicable to most European cities.

Coordinator

University of Leeds
Address
37 University Road
LS2 9JT Leeds
United Kingdom

Participants (4)

Città di Torino
Italy
Address
Piazza San Giovanni 5
10122 Torino
Leeds City Council
United Kingdom
Address
Dudley House Selectapost 6
LS2 8JX Leeds
Mizar Automazione SpA
Italy
Address
Via Monti 48
10126 Torino
Peek Traffic Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
Sovereign House Stockport Road
SK8 2EA Cheadle