Review and Evaluation of Methods for Analyzing Capacity at Signalized Intersections

Report No: 96-R16

Published in 1996

About the report:

VDOT's current policy is to use and accept from others the 1994 Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) as the basis for capacity analysis on Virginia's streets and highways. VDOT uses the latest version of the Highway Capacity Software (HCS). Software programs replicating the 1994 HCM may be used by others submitting work to VDOT for review; however, all input data and assumptions must be provided, and VDOT may use the HCS to check the submitted analysis. The analysis may be rejected if different results are obtained. To recommend appropriate revisions to this policy, this study evaluated computer software other than HCS that can be used in the analysis of signalized intersections, determining which programs provide acceptable results. The study then evaluated the results from simulation models to determine when and how to use this output in the analysis of signalized intersections. The study recommended that, in addition to HCS, VDOT use and accept from others SIGNAL94 and HCM/Cinema, or TRAF/NETSIM for capacity analysis at isolated intersections. CINCH, however, should not be used or accepted. For congested, oversaturated intersections, TRAF/NETSIM should be the preferred analysis type. Estimates of queue length at isolated signalized intersections should be derived from SIGNAL94, HCM/Cinema, or TRAF/NETSIM. For non-isolated intersections where queuing and spillback are a potential problem, simulation analysis with TRAF/NETSIM should be used instead of capacity analysis to determine the operational characteristics of the corridor.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

E. D. Arnold, Catherine C. McGhee, P.E.

Last updated: December 17, 2023

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