Energy Conservation through Arterial Improvements

by Marchiz Petreanu, Project Dir.; Gannett, Fleming, Coddry and Carpenter, Inc., Consulting Engrs., King of Prussia, Pa.,
James J. Schuster, (M.ASCE), Dir.; Inst. for Transportation Studies, Villanova Univ., Villanova, Pa.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 5, Pg. 535-548

Document Type: Journal Paper


The benefits in terms of energy savings that would result from improving the traffic signal operation along a typical urban arterial highway are detailed through a case study analysis. A section of U.S. Route 30 (Lancaster Avenue), in Bryn Mawr, Pa., was studied for quantification purposes, but the findings of the research may be extended to any urban arterial highway that possesses similar traffic conditions. Standard references were utilized for fuel consumption calculations, capacity analyses, and sample size requirements. The waste of energy under the existing conditions is surprisingly high; the fuel consumption from speed changes and the idle engine mode counts for 51% of the total fuel consumption. The implementation of a 25 mph. (40km/hr) progressive speed and minor operational changes on the study section would result in a savings or reduction of 113,000 gal/yr (427,000 l/yr) of fuel from the current 877,000 gals/yr (3,320,000 l/yr) now consumed.

Subject Headings: Energy consumption | Traffic analysis | Energy efficiency | Case studies | Traffic signals | Urban areas | Traffic signs | Routing (transportation)

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