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Research Projects (2000-01)

Identifying Number


Project Title

Surface Street Level of Service Using Existing Detector Infrastructure


University of Utah

Project Investigator

Dr. Peter Martin
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah

External Project Contact


Project Objective

The primary objective of the research will be the development of a generic algorithm that will transform detection data into measures of real-time traffic condition information. This will involve the definition of LOS criteria, associated Measures of Effectiveness thresholds, validation and testing.

Project Abstract

Interstate and freeways have a long history of the use of detection devices to record flow, speed and other traffic measures. Increasingly, even the smallest surface streets are being instrumented as the cost of detection falls and the integrity of communications continues to improve dramatically. Traffic engineers rely on the "Level of Service" (LOS) as a standard measure of traffic conditions. With capacity known, it is now possible to determine the LOS for a road, in real time. This information can serve a variety of useful purposes: automatic identification of congestion associated with tourist areas, air quality impact assessment, traveler information, and measurement of traffic generation.

Task Descriptions

The research will provide a detailed report explaining the algorithmic development and its application. It will also deliver an indication of the threshold intensity of detection likely to prove effective.

Milestones, Dates

  • Starting Date: July 1, 2000
  • Project Milestones: Final Report June 30, 2001
  • Ending Date: June 30, 2001

Yearly and Total Budget

Federal: $23,636.00
State: $39,000.00

Student Involvement

Two Graduate students; one thesis.

Relationship to Other Research Projects


Technology Transfer Activities


Potential Benefits of the Project

This research will promote the development of real-time traffic information systems for the traveling public through variable message signs, Highway Advisory Radio, in-car navigation devices. The information will tell drivers of likely congestion, accidents and incidents and suggest alternative routes, where appropriate or feasible.

TRB Keywords

Traffic monitoring, ITS

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050