Phone: 304-523-7434
Fax: 304-529-7229

400 Third Avenue
P.O. Box 939
Huntington, West Virginia 25712

Robert E. Pasley

Executive Director
Chris Chiles


This report was prepared by R.D. Zande & Associates, Inc.



The KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission (KYOVA), the City of Huntington and the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) are interested in improving the flow of traffic in Huntington. The purpose of this study is a thorough examination of the Huntington traffic signal system to assess the condition of the Huntington traffic signal system, assess the current traffic flow conditions in Huntington, and to identify and prioritize improvement recommendations.

The following is an alphabetical list of the project stakeholders who provided assistance in the preparation of this study and report.


Project Stakeholders

Ed Armbruster, West Virginia Division of Highways

Lt. Greg Brom, Huntington Police Department

Chuck Cornett, City of Huntington

Charles Holley, City of Huntington

Mike Hudson, Huntington Police Department

Bruce Kenney, West Virginia Division of Highways

Rick Napier, City of Huntington

Doug Rice, KYOVA

Saleem Salameh, KYOVA

Mark Scoular, West Virginia Department of Transportation

Jody Sigmon, KYOVA


The four principal tasks of this study were.


  • Inventory of Existing Traffic Control
  • Assessment of Traffic Flows
  • Evaluation of the Signal System
  • Study Summarizing Findings and Recommendations


The inventory of the existing traffic signal equipment, conducted in January and February 2006, included recording of equipment type and condition, and observations related to potential MUTCD and ADA issues. Travel time runs and traffic flow observations were also conducted as that time. Traffic counts for 20 key intersections were provided by the WVDOT. These counts, along with 24 hour counts from the WVDOT 3-year counting program and traffic counts from a recent study of Hal Greer Boulevard were used to estimate traffic volumes for the remaining study intersections. These estimated volumes were then used in the Synchro and SimTraffic models for the evaluation traffic flow conditions.                                                                                                                                                                                                              


The field inventory and traffic flow analysis were used to prepare a list of action items. The recommendations have been grouped into short, medium and long term. For this report short term is defined as 0-3 years, medium term 3-10 years and long term as 10-20 years.


  1. Signal Communications. Because of several interconnect breaks; system communication is no longer working in parts of the City. These breaks cause intersections to operate independently, resulting in inefficiencies, which can in turn result in increased delay, driver irritation, and increased emissions. It is recommended that communication be reestablished. To reestablish communication these breaks could be repaired, replaced in kind, or replaced with another kind of communication equipment.


  1. Aging Infrastructure. The signal poles at fifteen signalized intersections in the downtown area were installed over 30 years ago. Many of these signal poles are showing signs of deterioration, such as rust, or other damage. Some of the poles have hand hole covers missing, exposing internal wiring to weather and damage. It is recommended that these poles be replaced. As part of a couple of downtown streetscape improvement projects the City has upgraded two similar installations over the last two years, and is preparing to upgrade a third intersection this year. During the field inventory curb ramp layout and crosswalk layout was reviewed, and it was noted that most intersections may have ADA issues. It is recommended that ADA issues be addressed as other intersection improvements are made.


  1. Maintenance. As part of the field inventory the following maintenance issues were noted; excessive dirt in the controller cabinets, failed loops, and burned out signal bulbs. It is recommended that a routine maintenance program be implemented to address these issues. Further study should also be given to replacing the incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, in both vehicular and pedestrian signal heads. LED bulbs have a greater initial cost, but have a much longer life expectancy and use considerably less energy.


  1. Optimized Timings. The traffic flow analysis indicates that the optimized signal timings, presented in this report, will reduce delay, improve progression, and reduce emissions. During implementation of these timings it will be necessary to observe traffic flow and make manual adjustments. These settings would not be effective though, until repairs have been made to the signal system communications. It is recommended that these timings be implemented.


In order to maintain optimized timings, it is recommended that the City develop a regular count program for the intersections in the City. This would provide an on-going means of obtaining current traffic information, and allow the opportunity to update signal timings to reflect changes in flows. A program to count each signalized intersection every 2-3 years is recommended, and more frequently if there are known changes that could affect traffic flow.


In order to use this count information effectively, it is recommended that the City have signal optimization software (such as Synchro) and the appropriate training to evaluate the existing timings and retime signals as necessary.


The existing signal system is a closed loop style system. A closed loop system consists of a master controller at one intersection controlling the operation of other intersections in the group. A central system consists of a single master computer located in a control center and all the signals communicating with it. A central system allows much greater responsiveness to traffic flow. For example, signal grouping can be changed for each signal pattern if necessary. It is recommended the City convert to a central system to better manage traffic flow. The upgraded system should be compatible with the State’s ITS architecture.


  1. Crash Locations. Traffic crash information for Cabell County was provided by KYOVA. This information was filtered and sorted by intersection, to determine the crash frequency at the signalized intersections in the study area. It is recommended that a safety study program be developed to address safety issues.


The WVDOT is to complete several upgrades and improvements to the City of Huntington Signal System in the summer of 2006. These improvements include replacement of the master controllers and computer in the City’s traffic office. The addition of a switching system and phone line will be part of these improvements, and will allow WVDOT as well as City personnel to access the system software remotely. WVDOT also plans to provide a Synchro license to the City and provide training in the use of the software. These improvements will provide City staff additional tools to maintain traffic flow in the City.


This investment by WVDOT will meet or partially meet several of the action items above. The purchase of Synchro, and training in its use, will provide City staff with a tool to evaluate how signal adjustments could affect traffic flows.


In summary, the following are action items grouped as short term, medium term, and long term projects.



  • Repair or upgrade interconnect
  • Improve ADA access
  • Perform cabinet maintenance
  • Repair or replace loops
  • Purchase signal optimization software (and training)
  • Implement optimized timings in this report
  • Implement intersection count program
  • Develop safety study program



  • Repair or upgrade interconnect
  • Improve ADA accessibility
  • Replace signal poles and field equipment
  • Repair or replace loops
  • Upgrade to LED signal and ped bulbs
  • Install central system signal control


LONG TERM (10-20 year) PROJECTS:

  • Improve ADA accessibility
  • Upgrade to LED signal and ped bulbs
  • Install central system signal control


An estimation of the probable cost of implementing the recommendations discussed in this report is 1 million dollars per year. This number was calculated with the assumption the recommendations are completed over 16 years, and 4% annual inflation.


Click Below For Additional Information:

Complete Report

Report Figures


Signal Map

R.D. Zande & Associates, Inc.

For more information Contact

Saleem A. Salameh, P.E.
Technical Study Director/Transportation Engineer
KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission
400 Third Ave.
Huntington, WV 25701
304 523-7434(Phone)
304 529-7229 (Fax)