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Mobile-Device Data, Non-Motorized Traffic Monitoring, and Estimation of Annual Average Daily Bicyclist and Pedestrian Flows

Status:  Active
Project Start Date:  No Date


Technological advances have yielded new methods of detecting vehicles at intersections besides traditional loop detectors. Loop detectors have some notable disadvantages, such as the need to install separate detectors per lane, their inability to detect smaller vehicles (e.g. bicycles), and frequent maintenance costs when improperly installed. Alternatives include video detectors, and when considering maturing connected vehicle technology, roadside units designed to receive basic safety messages from connected vehicles. Newer detection methods might reduce the installation and maintenance costs, such as replacing one loop detector per lane of an approach with a single video detector. Although loop detectors cannot detect pedestrians or bicyclists, video cameras may be able to. On the other hand, video cameras can perform worse in inclement weather or for vehicles on snowy roads. Accurate detection is a key component of adaptive traffic signal controls, which includes the state of the art in intersection control. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the variety of intersection sensors currently available. This evaluation will include the installation, operation, and maintenance costs, anticipated lifecycle, effectiveness in Minnesota weather, performance on various intersection users (including bicycles and pedestrians), and readiness for connected vehicle technology. To avoid procurement costs, the proposed project will compare the various sensors that MnDOT already has access to. Then, the project team will construct a decision tree to assist MnDOT in selecting future sensors based on their detection and cost goals, while taking into consideration forward compatibility of sensors with future generation transportation systems.

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