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Bicycle Detection and Timing Design at Signalized Intersections with Advanced Detectors
AdvisorTian, Zong Z.
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The research documented in this thesis focuses on detection and timing design for accommodating bicycle traffic. A comprehensive literature review of the state of practice is conducted first. The literature review covers both practices in the US and abroad regarding different types of bicycle detection options with a particular focus on inductive loop detection since this type of detection is what is used in the case study conducted in this research. The practice of providing bicycle signal timing is discussed and the methodologies of several agencies around the world are compared. The methodology used in this research is presented along with the details of a case study. Based on the analysis of available controller functions at the studied intersections, two bicycle timing functions were useful to provide a bicyclist additional time to cross an intersection safely. These functions were tested in a lab setting to see how they interact and respond to bicyclist calls in various situations. One of these functions was tested and implemented in the case study based on the detection methods available. For this reason, the bicycle signal timing was modified to provide bicycle crossing time within the given parameters of advanced detection. Field testing of the bike feature was then performed on an intersection to make sure that the function worked as intended. Once confirmed, bicycle signal timing was input along the corridor and observed to function with inputs from natural riders who were unaware of the project crossing a detection zone triggering the bicycle timing in the intersection controller and providing an extended green. It was found that the test corridor did not receive much benefit from this signal timing, as the vehicle traffic was often enough to satisfy bicyclist crossings through the main line. However, situations where bicycle timing would be more impactful or where additional detection zones are provided were explored and recommended strategies were presented to provide increased safety to bicyclists.