When the Music’s over
This paper describes the results of the EU funded DGVII project MUSIC (Management of traffic USIng flow Control and other measures). The project was designed to demonstrate on-street the success of new signal control policies which account for the rerouting of traffic. The signal control policy in the MUSIC project used delay-based pricing as a design tool to create a signal policy which reduces network travel time considerably. This combination of pricing and signal control has strong theoretical backing. Computer models were used to create traffic signal timings for three European cities, York (UK), Porto (Portugal) and Thessaloniki (Greece). The timings were designed to meet a variety of targets set by the local authorities in the cities. These targets were not only aimed at reducing congestion but also at helping public transport and increasing pedestrian comfort.
These signal timings were put in place and the results monitored to assess which targets in each city had been met. The results of the project were striking. While, in Porto, the situation was neither improved nor worsened, in York and Thessaloniki the new timings were a considerable success. In York, the main objective was to reduce bus travel time along one of the city’s park and ride routes. The bus travel time was reduced by 30% with no net increase in car travel time. Ridership on this bus route increased considerably during this period. In Thessaloniki, the main aim was congestion reduction and this aim was met on almost all routes measured. In both cities, the MUSIC timings (with slight variations) remain in place as of the time of writing (late July ’99).
Key wordsTraffic networks transport signals optimisation
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