The overall objective of signal control is to provide for safe and efficient traffic flow through intersections, along routes, and in street networks.
A traffic signal can provide one or more of the following benefits.
Whether or not a traffic signal is needed, its installation will probably have the following negative impacts.
If an intersection needs a signal, these disadvantages will be offset by the benefits just listed. If however, a traffic signal is not needed, its installation can have the following unnecessary additional adverse effects.
Traffic control devices such as signs and markings are the primary means of regulating, warning or guiding traffic on all streets and highways. The need for well designed, adequately maintained devices grows in proportion to the density of traffic, speed of operation, and complexity of maneuvering areas on highways and at intersections.
Both signs and markings have the function of regulating, warning, guiding and/or channelizing traffic. To be effective, however, the installation of each device should fulfill a need, command attention, convey a clear simple meaning, command respect of road users and give adequate time for proper response.
The traffic engineer must employ five basic considerations to ensure that these requirements are met:
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