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Home > Feature Articles > Logistics and Vehicle Fleet Management > Trucking & Logistics for Efficiency, Fuel Savings, and Air Quality

Minimize Truck Stops-and-Starts at Intersections

Reducing truck braking to reduce wear and tear on intersection pavement.

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A traffic signal preemption system used to give trucks priority at a high-speed intersection (US-83 and FM-886) in Sullivan City, Texas.

The Texas Department of Transportation installed a pair of magnetic loop detectors under the pavement 550 feet upstream from the intersection in order to identify trucks and determine their individual speeds. The loop detectors were connected to a Traffic Counter/Classifier (TCC) and a personal computer capable of communicating with and activating intersection signal control devices.

Based on the signal phasing plan and truck speed data input, the computer placed holds on signal timing as necessary to extend green time for approaching trucks.

The duration of each hold was based on truck speed. If a truck was identified during a red light, no hold call was placed. A timer relay was also used to limit hold times to 2 minutes in order to reduce the excessive wait times resulting from consecutive truck actuations.

The signal control system benefited about 4 percent of the trucks on the roadway since holds were placed only when trucks needed extended green time. For a weekly volume of 2500 trucks, 100 less stops were made. The reduction in truck stops was used to determine a cost savings estimate in terms of reduced pavement wear, reduced main-street delay to trucks and other vehicles, reduced fuel consumption and emissions, and reduced tire and brake wear.

US DOT Intelligent Transportation Systems

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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