Document Type


Publication Date



Pedestrian accidents -- United States -- Prevention, Pedestrian safety


Traditional signal timing policies have typically prioritized vehicles over pedestrians at intersections, leading to undesirable consequences such as large delays and risky crossing behaviors. The objective of this paper is to explore signal timing control strategies to reduce pedestrian delay at signalized intersections. The impacts of change in signal controller mode of operation (coordinated vs. free) at intersections were studied using the micro-simulation software VISSIM. A base model was developed and calibrated for an existing pedestrian active corridor. A hypothetical network of three intersections was used to explore the effects of mode of operation and measures of delay for pedestrians and all users. From a pedestrian perspective, free operation was found to be more beneficial due to lower delays. However, from a system wide (all user) perspective, coordinated operation showed the greatest benefits with lowest system delay under heavy traffic conditions (v/c > 0.7). In the off-peak conditions when traffic volumes are lower, free operation resulted in lowest system delay (v/c < 0.7). During coordination, lower cycle lengths were beneficial for pedestrians, due to smaller delays. The results revealed that volume to capacity (v/c) ratios for the major street volumes coupled with pedestrian actuation frequency for the side street phases, could be used to determine the signal controller mode of operation that produces the lowest system delay. The results were used to create a guidance matrix for controller mode based on pedestrian and vehicle volumes. To demonstrate application, the matrix is applied to another corridor in a case study approach.


This is the author's version of the work. Submitted for presentation and publication to the 94th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board January 11-15, 2015

Persistent Identifier