Every year since 2012, Miovision has conducted a peer-driven Traffic Signal Survey. The survey measures the current state of traffic signal maintenance and operations in North America. The question categories include:
- traffic data collection
- traffic data reporting and visualization activities
- software and systems
- traffic signal connectivity
What did we learn about traffic data collection this year?
Traffic data collection and signal retiming is falling behind
This year was no exception to the trend that signals aren’t timed as often as we would like. Among the most popular reasons that signal retiming is falling behind are:
- “Too many other duties” / “I don’t have time”
- “It’s difficult to find staff to collect field data”
- “I don’t have operating budget to hire a consultant”
- “One person is doing the work of five people”
Some challenges are being overcome, but not all
- “I rely on citizen feedback to identify intersections require attention”
- “I have dedicated additional staff to retime signals”
- “Estimating volumes”
- “I’m not and things are getting worse”
Many traffic engineering activies are still performed in house
- 40-50% of intersection design and LOS analysis are outsourced; but
- the majority of corridor optimization and signal timing plans are still done in-house
The labour required to perform network optimization and timing plan analysis is most certainly contributing to the lack of time and overwhelming amount of work. Next year, we may add a question about hours worked in a day…
What did we learn about connecting traffic signals this year?
Alarms are the most popular ATMS feature
Transportation professionals want more visibility of their intersection networks. Among what they want to see, the most popular are surprisingly simple:
- “Status displays to help with quick response”
- “Monitoring detector performance”
- “Alarm logs, emails and a central clock”
- “Remote signal changes from a central hub with the ability to monitor and adjust”
Connecting more traffic signals is the most popular 5 year goal
Other interesting responses included:
- “Upgrades to the central system to allow troubleshooting and performance monitoring”
- “New video wall with more cameras and connected signals”
- “Adaptive [signal control]”
- “100% Fiber-Optic, 1 Mb/s communications with <5 mS latency”
Goals are big, but money are resources are tight
- “I wish the transportation industry would champion for more adequate staffing”
- “Funding is always an issue. Additional funding would allow us to implement new technology”
In the spirit of challenging the status-quo, we decided to switch-up the presentation of the data. This year we tried to make it more interesting with this infographic. We hope you like it.
Miovision Traffic Signal Survey Results
Summary Traffic Signal Survey Questions:
- What level of government is your agency?
- How many signals does your agency manage?
- What percentage of signals does your agency retime annually?
- What is the optimal percentage of signals that you would retime annually?
Traffic Data Collection
- Which of the following traffic data types are most important to you for signal operations and analysis?
- What are your main sources of traffic data for signal operations and analysis?
- Which software tools (if any) does your agency use for traffic data reporting and visualization?
- Which simulation software product(s) does your agency (or contractor) use most often?
- Which of the following activities does your agency perform in-house?
- What percentage of your signalized intersections are centrally connected and managed?
- What percentage of your intersection network would you like to be centrally connected and managed?
- What percentage of your connected intersections are connected with the following communication technologies?
- Which ATMS / CMS do you use to manage your signals?
- What are the three most used and valuable features of your ATMS software?