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Group Title: McTrans newsletter
Title: McTrans newsletter. Vol. 30
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00078185/00022
 Material Information
Title: McTrans newsletter. Vol. 30
Series Title: McTrans newsletter
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Center for Microcomputers in Transportation, College of Engineering, University of Florida
Publisher: Center for Microcomputers in Transportation, College of Engineering, University of Florida
Publication Date: Spring 2004
Subject: University of Florida   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States -- Florida -- Gainesville
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00078185
Volume ID: VID00022
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida


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Table of Contents
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    Did you know?
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Full Text

TRANSYT and the Order of the
British Empire
by Dennis Robertson

I wrote this article, after Bill Sampson and
Dolf May suggested that readers of the
McTrans newsletter might like to know
about the origins ofTRANSYT and about
my OBE award.

Early work
After graduating in mechanical
engineering, I served a two-year graduate
apprenticeship at Napiers in Acton, West
London, where the Lion, Sabre and Deltic
engines were designed and built from the
1930's to about 1981. The infrequent,
but puzzling, large oscillations in the
governor of the 2,600 horsepower Deltic
diesel engine led to my interest in control

In 1959, John Lattey recruited me
to work at Vickers-Armstrong in
Weighbridge and, by 1966, I had learned
how to analyse control systems. I led a
small expert team that programmed an
American PACE analogue computer,
which mimicked the flight characteristics
of the TSR2 supersonic bomber. When
our Labor government cancelled the
project, many people lost their jobs.

While working for Plessey Automation,
which then had about a half of the UK
market for traffic signals, I was loaned for
two years of work at Transport Research
Laboratory (TRL). By chance, I started
working with those who were starting
research into the brand new field of
using computers to control traffic signal
networks. The late John Hillier led the
continue page 2

TRANSYT-7F, the American Version
by Charles Wallace

I was deeply honored to be asked by Bill Sampson to provide this
article to complement the one from Sir Dr. Dennis I. Robertson, the
founder of the TRANSYT modeling family. I have had the pleasure
of knowing Dennis for many years and am proud to call him a friend.
He is truly a giant in our traffic engineering profession and his OBE is
most well deserved. This is the story of the upstart American derivation
of Dennis' wonderful ideas.
The odd spelling of TRANSYT (Traffic Network Study Tool) has
confused people for years, but among those who time traffic signals
and analyze traffic flow on arterial highways, I suggest that no better
tool has ever been offered. It has been suggested that this model
application is outdated; after all it originated, as Dennis says, in the
late 1960s. But these folks simply have it wrong-traffic flow has not
fundamentally changed, just its characteristics. Dennis's models still
well simulate traffic today, you just have to calibrate to your local
conditions, which should always be the first order of business for a
modeler. TRANSYT, and the 7F variant, are as vibrant, and valid
today, as they were when created. So, now to that task....

The origin ofTRANSYT-7F actually goes back a bit. The first
practically used variant ofTRANSYT used in the U.S.A. was
TRANSYT6C, derived from version 6 by the University of California
at Berkeley (UCB, so the "C" was for California). This was a metric
version using the British nomenclature for signal timing (such as
"stages," "intergreen," and the like). Berkeley added fuel and emissions
estimates as outputs to the baseline British (by then controlled by the
Transport and Road Research Laboratory, TRRL, now simply TRL)
Your author used this version to implement his dissertation model,
now referred to as forward "progression opportunities" (PROS) model,
that explicitly added traffic progression, either alone or in combination
with traffic "disutility" measures, such as stops, delay, fuel consumption,
and/or queuing as explicit objective functions in the optimization sub-
model. This work was done in 1979.
About that same time, TRANSYT6C was included in a package of
mainframe (they all were in those days) applications for the Florida
Department of Transportation (FDOT) that became the standard
analysis and design set required for all FDOT traffic and signal studies.
The package was called TOPCOP, for Traffic Operations Computer
Package and was assembled by Ken Courage and the author at the
University of Florida (UF).
continue page 3

Department of Civil and
Coastal Engineering
PO Box 116585
Gainesville FL 32611-6585
(352) 392-0378
Toll Free 1-800-226-1013
Fax (352) 392-6629
E-mail mctrans@ce.ufl.edu



W Did you know?
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Mc Trans Spring 2004

TRANSYT and the Order of the British Empire

If it's not on our
web site...

(http //mctrans.ce.ufl.edu)

It's on Us!

Call McTrans Toll Free:

TRL team with vision and
energy, while Peter Whiting
was their outstanding creative
I believe that his Combination
Method (CM) program was the
first to use a traffic model and
a signal optimizer, which finds
signal timings that minimize
delay and stops in a network.
But it only worked on ladder
type networks and the model
assumed that uniform vehicle
flow rates entered and exited
each intersection. It was my
opportunity to use the CM
program that led directly to
TRANSYT. Its key feature is use
of Cyclic Flow Profiles (CFP)
that record, in small steps (e.g. 2
seconds), how average traffic flow
rates vary on the approaches and
exits in any network of signalized
I wrote TRANSYT in assembly
code for the real-time signal
control digital computer that
controlled about 45 traffic signals
in Glasgow during work days.
I worked alone in the evenings,
in a shed on the banks of the
Clyde, feeding punched paper
tape until the reader stopped at
an error. After many attempts,
it was late 1968 when the
graph plotter burst into life and
drew histograms of how CFPs
compress' and change when
vehicles cross signal stop-lines.
When TRANSYT performed
better than the other strategies
that were tested in Glasgow and
in London, Peter Whiting wrote
the FORTRAN code that is in
all later versions. Except that
TRL's Janet Kennedy changed
part of the optimizer code to
make TRANSYT work much
faster. Her version 7 (which came
to the US as TRANSYT-7F for
Federal) has led to version 12.

* Tech Assistance
* Orders
* Product & Seminar

Award of an OBE
This stands for Order of the
British Empire and it is just
one of over ten assorted classes
of Royal Honors. The top is a
Knight, which dates from King
Arthur's time, via Sir Walter
Raleigh, who later had his head
chopped off by order of the first
Queen Elizabeth. For Knights,
the King or Queen touches a
sword on each shoulder. The
next class down is a Commander
(CBE), then OBE, followed by
a Member (MBE), which has
the highest number of awardees.
So my award is somewhere in
the upper middle of the 1,500
awards in the Annual New Years
Honors list and there are further
Investitures later each year.
However, it is unusual to
receive an award over ten years
after my 1992 retirement. But,
at that time, TRL had a new
Director and management
theorists were planning how
make TRL an Agency, before it
was privatized, so it was in a state
of flux. However, many awards
have been given to other traffic
and transport researchers, and
to members of firms who work
in this field. The founder of the
TRL was a Knight. Awardees
don't know who recommended
them and the notification comes
from the Prime Ministers office.
When we told our family about
the award, they were eager to
join us at the Buckingham Palace
ceremony on Friday, May 23,
2003. We then also found out
that there was an Honors award
industry, with offers of post
award meals in top restaurants,
offers to take photographs and
suggestions to buy awards books,
cufflinks and so on.
About 150 people attend at
each daily Investiture, which last
for about 90 minutes, so that
awardees have about 30 seconds
each. On our day, Prince Charles
was presiding and standing on
the dais, in a large and splendid

ballroom. With the Royal
orchestra plays quiet music, we
were told to walk halfway across
the ballroom and turn left to step
up to Prince Charles, where he
fits medals into a lapel clip.
When my turn came, I was
ready to mention SCOOT use
in London and elsewhere. But
instead, Prince Charles asked
me what I thought about the
London congestion-charging
scheme, about which I know
only what is in newspaper. So I
said "it seems to be working well
and it is a bold experiment" and
he replied "well done," shook
hands, which is the signal to
Awardees are separated from
their quests when entering
the Palace, then recycled back
to sit in the ballroom until
the ceremony is over. In the
following melee, my ladies
found me and after having
"official" pictures taken, we
had an easy trip home for an
OBE celebration on the next
Sunday. Quite a large group of
our families and TRL colleagues
enjoyed a lunch at a French
restaurant, which opened
especially for us. Most of them
came back to our Crowthorne
home for champagne and nibbles
in our sunny garden. That ended
a happy event we will always
The legend of my OBE medal
is "For God and the Empire,"
which has been replaced by a
Commonwealth. Every year, the
papers argue about the rights
or wrong of our Royal Honors
system, but I like these relics of
bygone ages. I have a great deal
of sympathy for our Queen and
for Prince Charles, who have
spend long and tiring periods
attending these events. But they
are quite well off and have nice
places to live, including Windsor

Mc Trans Spring 2004

TRANSYT-7F, the American Version

Shortly after that, a consulting
firm employed by the Alabama
DOT hired the author to
adapt TRANSYT7 for more
convenient use in the U.S. I
added a preprocessor interface to
accept inputs in U.S. customary
units and convert them into
metric units for use inside
the software. A postprocessor
interface reversed the process for
the outputs.
Then in 1980 along came
Uncle Sam with the Federal
Highway Administration,
responding to the 1979 fuel
crisis with the National Signal
Timing Optimization Program
(NSTOP). The project was to
demonstrate that signal retiming
could significantly reduce
fuel consumption on arterial
highways. After a furiously
competitive process, the UF
Transportation Research Center
(TRC) was selected as FHWA's
consultant. The first task was
to develop an "Americanized"
version ofTRANSYT, with
U.S. customary units and
nomenclature (e.g., intervals and
phases), fuel models, and a time-

Release Date Enhan

space diagram.
We obtained another formal
license for TRANSYT7 (for
90, or about $200 in those
days) from TRL for a perpetual
license to develop and market
a derivative work. We created
TRANSYT-7F (for Federal, or
as we often quipped, Florida),
which was initially released in
January 1981, and, as the saying
goes, the rest is history.
T7F has gone though a
remarkable metamorphosis
over the years. A summary
of the releases and the key
enhancements are given in the
table below.
If one were to compare the
code base for T7F today with
the original TRANSYT7, there
would be very little resemblance.
Indeed, there is probably no
remaining common code;
however, even in the conversion
to C, the logic that Dennis
originally developed for the
propagation of traffic remains
largely unchanged-only the
parameters need change by the


1 1-6/81 Initial "Americanized" version used
2 7/81 First release to the general public.
3 2-9/83 Enhanced timing optimization and error
4 6/84-12/86 Drastic overhaul, first PC version,
expanded user optionsand output
controls, added to Arterial Analysis
5 9/87-3/88 Improved permitted movement and
sneaker modeling,
6 10/88-3/91 Improved actuated controller modeling,
bandwidth constraint, and expanded
performance index options.


10 1/04

Added progression opportunities
(PROS) model for optimization, and
enhanced split optimization.
Converted core models code to C, added
queue spillback model, non-integer
timing parameters.
Added genetic algorithm optimization,
new input screens, map view, actuated
estimation, CORSIM processor
Added multi-period GUI and optimization,
profile spyglass, graphical time-space
diagram, preset phasing, bitmap
background, summary reports

TRANSYT-7F remains one
of the most powerful, and
timely, tools for traffic analysis
and signal timing optimization.
Thousands of office licenses

had multiple users. Along with
its British "cousin" the models
conceived by Sir Dennis remain
among the most widely used
in the world-and certainly

have been distributed over the the most trusted by serious
years by McTrans, most of which modelers.

Who did it? The author personally developed the TRANSYT6C/FLOS
and TRANSYT7 versions and directed the development of T7F
Releases 1-8. David Hale developed Releases 9 and 10. All work on
T7F has been performed by TRC and/or McTrans staff. Other key
contributors over the years have included Jim Sturgess (who coded
the original T7F Americanization), Frank White, Mohammed Hadi,
Charles Jacks, and Phil Hill. Ken Courage was a consistent source
of ideas and vision. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the
Federal Highway Administration, particularly Toni Wilbur, for their
support of this great success story in partnerships. Finally, T7F still
carries the British Crown Copyright alongside the U.S.A. Copyright,
another proud partnership. Finally, we thank our many devoted users
who have supported T7F over the years


Data file saving in XML
(eXtensible Markup
Language) was made
available in HCS2000. XML
format is readily imported
into many Windows
applications, including
Microsoft Excel and Word, as
well as other traffic analysis
packages written to accept
this standard data exchange
Extensive work was done on
the reading and writing in
XML format in version 4.1d.
As a result of these updates,
use of XML data files
requires that they be saved
using version 4.1d to ensure
complete and accurate data
transfer. To accomplish this,
users must first retrieve any
XML file saved using earlier
versions into the version
used to create it, then save
the file in binary format. This
binary file must be opened
using version 4.1d, then
saved as an XML file.

*It should be noted that FHWA funded Releases 1-6 and 8. Mc Trans funded
Releases 7 and 9-10.

Release 8.2 (in 1998) was
the first version ever to
compute control delay.
Prior versions offered stop
delay and/or total delay.
All releases between 8.2
and 10.1 have provided
control delay estimates.
Delay is computed by the
same methods from the
HCM2000, but augmented
by macroscopic simulation
results. Values of capacity
and the percentage of
vehicles arriving on green
(PVG) are obtained from
simulation, instead of user

All vehicles that are in queue
when the signal turns green
are tagged as candidates for
phase failure. If a tagged
vehicle fails to discharge
before the signal turns red, it
is counted as a phase failure.
Vehicles that enter the queue
after the signal turns green
are not tagged as candidates
for phase failure. In the
case of a delayed left-turn
vehicle in a through lane, it
is not considered to be in
queue, so it would not be
considered for phase failure.
A through vehicle waiting
behind a left turn vehicle is
also not considered to be
in queue and would not be
considered for phase failure.

- Mc Trans Spring 2004


InletSoft and PipeSoft

InletSoft helps in design of
inlets and flows into inlets for
roadway / land development
projects. A simple and easy-to-
follow interface allows the user
to efficiently input any inlet
configuration and solve for a
host of design parameters.
PipeSoft helps in the design of
circular, elliptical and rectangular
pipe sections. HGL Analysis is
also performed effortlessly.
Both InletSoft and PipeSoft
use procedures outlined in
HEC-22 Manual. Specific
modules are available for use
in the Commonwealth of
Virginia. Input information is
stored in a database enabling
the engineer to save, modify,
rename or delete individual
inlets/pipes in a Project file at
any stage. In addition, the inlet
database is made available for
the pipe design. Both software
permit setting project databases
in either English or Metric units
and allow Users to design/store
unlimited inlets/ pipes. Outputs
are easily printed in standard
MicroSoft Excel spreadsheet
forms. Onscreen Help and
documentation are included.

Announcing Turbo Architecture Version 3.0

Turbo Architecture has become the tool of choice among
transportation system professionals in the public and private sector to
document the inventory and interfaces for regional and project ITS
Turbo Architecture Version 3.0 is compatible with Version 5.0 of
the National ITS Architecture (released in November, 2003) which
is one of the most significant enhancements to the National ITS
Architecture since its initial release in 1996. Turbo Architecture
Version 3.0 allows users to migrate their existing architectures to take
advantage of the new content, including:
ITS Security Areas
Disaster Response and Evacuation User Service
Voice-based Traveler Information Interfaces "511"
New mapping to the ITS standards
Transit enhancements and terminology changes (that bring the
Architecture more in line with the industry)
Turbo Architecture Version 3.0 also includes many new features
and updates that make the software easier to use and add support for
the FHWA Rule 940 and FTA Policy for Regional ITS Architectures
and Standards. These enhancements provide users with the ability to
include additional details in their architectures, including:
Functional requirements
Operational concepts
Customized Lists of Standards
Lists of Agreement
Project Sequencing
Market Package based presentation
Improved diagrams and reporting capabilities
In addition to the added features, the user interface has been
extensively upgraded for Version 3.0. This What's New document
will review the tabs and pull down menus of the revised interface,
identifying new features, enhancements to existing features, and
pointing out where some features have been relocated to different
parts of the user interface. The overall user interface for Version 3.0
consists of nine main tabs and five pull down menus.
Turbo Architecture Version 3.0 (#TURBO3) is available through
McTrans for $190. Registered users of Version 2 can upgrade
(#TURBO3.UPG) for $50. The Version 3.0 Documentation is
included on the CD, but a printed version (#TURBO.D) can be
ordered for $20.

Update Watch


Version Status

Turbo Architecture




Patch Download
Registered users may upgrade
Sent to Registered users
Sent to Registered users
Sent to Registered users
Sent to Registered users
Sent to Registered Users
Registered users may upgrade




Mc Trans Spring 2004

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is pleased to
announce the release of the Traffic Noise Model (TNM), Version
2.5. TNM Version 2.5 was developed to address the following issues:
1) the over-prediction found in the TNM Validation Phase 1 data
results; and 2) an anomaly related to diffraction points. Steps taken
to address these issues include:
An improvement was made to the implementation of the
vehicle emission level database a more comprehensive
methodology was applied in correcting the measured emission
levels back to the source; and
A bug in the acoustics code was identified and corrected, where
related diffraction algorithm parameters were improved.
(TNM Version 2.5 predictions have been validated by comparing to
measured sound levels from Phase 1 of the TNM Validation Study.)
FHWA TNM is an advanced software program used in predicting
noise impacts in the vicinity of highways. It uses advances in
personal computer hardware and software to improve the accuracy
and ease of modeling highway noise, including the design of cost-
efficient highway noise barriers. More information can be found at:
FHWA Traffic Noise Model (#TNM) is available from McTrans
at LOS 1 for $695. The CD includes the TNM User's Guide and
addendums, TNM Technical Manual and addendums, and the
TNM Trainer CD-ROM. Registered users of TNM Version 2.0 and
2.1 receive this upgrade automatically. Registered users of TNM
Versions 1.0, 1.0b, and 1.1 can upgrade to Version 2.5 (#TNM.
UPG) for $495.

Training Opportunities

Highway Capacity Analysis

Trip Generation Version 5
Trip Generation by MicrotransTM is used to analyze traffic generated
from 158 land uses or building types based on 4,150 individual
studies. This menu-driven software with help screens at key
locations is easy to use but allows comprehensive analysis of trip
generation because it includes the entire database of the Institute of
Transportation Engineers Seventh Edition Trip Generation Report.
Versions of this software have been used widely since 1983 by
both public agencies and private companies for traffic impact
analyses, transportation corridor analyses, traffic circulation systems,
quick response planning techniques and environmental impact
Trip Generation Version 5 has been designed to give options for
greater flexibility. Analyze single and/or mixed-use projects using
the ITE rates, equations, or enter your own rates. Pass-by trips are
included in this version. A special feature allows trip adjustment
factors to be added for each type of trip (up to 21). Further, you
may choose from four formats to printout results depending on the
level of detail that is desired. Results may be saved four formats and
opened in Excel.
Trip Generation Version 5 (#TRIPGEN) is available from
McTrans at LOS 7 for $450. A step-by-step user's guide as well as
technical support is included.

May 18-20, 2004
July 6-8, 2004

To register or
for updated
please go to the
McTrans web site
at: mctrans.ce.ufl.
or contact us at:
Web: mctrans.ce.ufl.edu
Toll-free: 1-800-226-1013
E-mail: mctrans@ce.ufl.edu
Fax: 352-392-6629

San Diego, CA
St. Augustine, FL

Lectures on the applications prescribed in the
2000 Highway Capacity Manual (HCM2000)
procedures including Signalized and Unsignalized
Intersections; Multilane, Freeways, Weaving,
Ramps and Freeway Facilities; and notes on Urban
Streets, TwoLane and Transit. Each lecture is
followed by an HCS2000 demonstration applying
data to procedural examples.(2.0 CEUs)


Summer TBA
This one-day seminar covers the 2003 Manual
on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD),
including special emphasis on the changes in
2000 and 2003. The training includes sessions on
the updated material and signal warrant analysis,
including the use of the new HCS2000 Warrants
module. Standards, specifications and applications
of signals, signs and marking are also covered in
individual sessions. (0.7 CEUs/7.0 PDHs)

TRANSYT-7F Signal Analysis

June 15-16, 2004 Chicago, IL
Release 10 ofTRANSYT-7F implements traffic
network simulation and traffic signal timing
optimization in a Windows interface. Each
lecture will include software demonstrations using
different components or modules of the T7F 10
software package that contains TRANSYT-7F.
(1.2 CEUs)

CORSIM Simulation for Beginners

June 17-18, 2004 Chicago, IL
This CORSIM Simulation Seminar will provide
lectures on traffic flow theory, and software
demonstrations involving the FHWA's Traffic
Software Integrated System(TSIS). Version 5 of
TSIS implements arterial and freeway simulation
in a Windows interface, including the TRAFED
graphical input editor and the TRAFVU
animation module. (1.2 CEUs)

Moving Technoiogy

Mc Trans Spring 2004


TRANSYT-7F, United States Version

State of the art simulation

> Actuated control

> Platoon dispersion

> Queue spillback 0

State of the art optimization

>Genetic algorithm Copyriot '1990-2004, UniTty of Flda

>Hill-climb A Arib reserved
Mut-peod TRANSYT-7FT

I http: mctrans.ce.ufl.edutra nsyt-7f/

Advertising Directory

Page Company


AJH Associates
Al Technologies Ltd.
Akcelik & Associates
Caliper Corp.
Collision Diagram Software
Greg Bullock
Innovative Transportation Concepts
JMW Engineering, Inc.
KLD Associates & Polytechnic Univ.
RST International Inc.
Strong Concepts
Transoft Solutions
Transoft Solutions
X32 Group, Inc.

Quick Response Systems II

ptv vision


Cadna A
SimTraffic, Synchro
Intersection Capacity Utilization
HSA Software



McTrans Center
Department of Civil & Coastal Engineering
PO Box 116585
Gainesville FL 32611-6585


NEED Training?

Highway Capacity
Analysis (HCS2000)

TRANSYT-7F Release 10

CORSIM (TSIS 5.1) for

Site Impact Analysis


Contact McTrans to set up a
training course in your area, or
read about currently scheduled
training courses at:


Highway Capacity Analysis Seminar
Mc Trans 1-800-226-1013 ext. 229
Order Online from McTrans

Traffic Network Study (TRANSYT-7F) Seminar
1-800- 226-1013 ext. 229
Order Online from McTrans

CORSIM Simulation for Beginners
1-800-226-1013 ext. 229
Order Online from McTrans

aaSIDRA Traffic Software Training
www.aatraffic.com/SIDRA (no underline)


ITE Annual Meeting
ITE (202) 289-0222

May 18-20
July 6-8

June 15- 16

June 17-18

July 12-13
July 29-31

San Diego, CA
St. Augustine, FL

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

Bend, OR
Tampa, FL

Aug 1-4

Orlando, FL

Moving Technology http://mctrans.ce. ufl.edu/training/for up-to-date training information

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Gainesville FL

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