Perception of waiting time at signalized intersections

Xinkai Wu, David M. Levinson, Henry X. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Perception of Waiting Time at Signalized Intersections Xinkai Wu, David M. Levinson, and Henry X. LiuDepartment of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota, 500 Pillsbury Drive Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Perceived waiting time at signalized intersections differs from the actual waiting time and varies with signal design. The onerousness of delay depends on the conditions under which it is experienced. Using weighted travel time may contribute to optimal signal control if it can improve on the assumption that all time is weighted equally by users. This research explores the perception of waiting time at signalized intersections on the basis of the results of an online virtual experience stated preference survey. This survey directly collected the perceived waiting times and the user ratings of the signal designs of each intersection on an arterial that included three intersections. Statistically analyzing the survey data suggests that the perception of waiting time is a function of the actual time, and a quadratic model describes the relationship. The survey also indicates that there exists a trade-off between total waiting time and individual waiting time at each intersection. Drivers prefer to split the total waiting time across multiple intersections at the price of a longer total wait if the difference in the total waiting time of two signal designs is within 30 s. Survey data show that the perceived waiting time, instead of the actual waiting time, better explains how users rate the individual signal designs for intersections and arterials, including multiple intersections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number2135
StatePublished - 2009

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