One of the most significant urban transport problems is traffic congestion. All major cities both in developed and developing countries are facing the problem due to increasing travel demand caused by increasing urbanization and the attendant economic and population growth. Recognizing the growing burden of traffic congestion, community leaders and transportation planners in Addis Ababa are still actively promoting large-scale road constructions to alleviate traffic congestion. Although Intelligent Transportation Systems(ITS) applications seem to have the potential to improve signalization performance, highly congested intersections in Addis Ababa are still controlled by a timed signal and manual operation. Moreover, these pre-timed signal controls are functioning sub-optimally as they are not being regularly monitored and updated to cope with varying traffic demands. Even though the benefits are well known theoretically, at the time of writing of this thesis, Adaptive Traffic Signal Controllers (ATSC) haven’t been deployed in Ethiopia and no research has been conducted to demonstrate and quantify their effectiveness. This master’s research thesis, therefore, intends to fill the identified gap, by undertaking a microscopic traffic simulation investigation, to evaluate the benefits of adopting a Traffic-responsive Urban Control (TUC) strategy and optimizing traffic signal timings. For the purpose of this study, an oversaturated three-intersection test corridor located in the heart of Addis Ababa city is modeled in VISSIM using real-world traffic data. After validating the calibrated model, the corridor was evaluated with the existing pre-timed, TRANSYT optimized pre-timed plan and TUC strategy. Multiple simulation runs were then made for each scenario alternatives and various measures of effectiveness were considered in the evaluation process. Simulation evaluation has demonstrated an average delay reduction of 24.17% when the existing pre-timed alternative is compared to TRANSYT optimized plan and 35% when compared to the TUC strategy. Overall evaluation results indicate that deploying the TUC strategy and optimizing the aging pre-timed signal plans exhibits a significant flow improvement. It is expected that the result of the thesis work will be an input for future comprehensive policy development processes.
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