Recap: Signal System Users Group Meeting in Wilmington

NCSITE’s Signal Systems Users Group (SSUG) held its first meeting of the year on May 15th at Halyburton Park in Wilmington, NC. The theme of the day was “Tools of the (Signals) Trade.” NCSITE members from across the state gathered at the beach for a day for an opportunity to connect with peers, enjoy some local seafood, and hear four fantastic technical presentations on what’s happening in the world of signals these days. It must have been a special meeting to bring out the presidents of both the NC and GA ITE chapters!

Mike Blanchette with Kimley-Horn presented “Rethinking Special Event Traffic Management in Downtown Atlanta.” He discussed how the transportation of people and goods around some of Georgia’s largest special events is planned for and actively managed. Mike, who helped manage operations for the 2018 College Football National Championship, detailed some of the challenges and successes of the event.

Bastian Schroeder with Kittelson and Associates and Dennis Vielkanowitz with the City of Wilmington presented “Low Res vs. High Res – Small Data vs. Big Data… What’s the Deal?” They described some of the similarities and differences between traditional traffic signal analysis and optimization tools (Low Resolution Data) and ATSPM (High Resolution Data). Bastian and Denys’ session walked through some of the tools that are available today and how high resolution data can enhance efficiency in the workplace.

Thomas Chase (photo above) with the Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) presented “Performance-based Prioritization of Statewide Signal System Retiming.” He discussed the development of a performance-based prioritization tool for NCDOT to identify closed loop signal systems in need of retiming using probe data.

Finally, Shannon Warchol (photo below) with ITRE presented “Analyzing Signalization Needs at Intersections with Fewer than Four Legs.” She shared some guidance on considering signalization at intersections with fewer than four legs with a focus on situations where a one-way primary (mainline) movement opposes either a minor road right-turn movement (right out) or a left-turn movement (left over), or in the case of a median U-turn opening.

The facility at Halyburton Park in Wilmington has nearby greenway connections as well as a patio adjacent to the indoor meeting space, so NCSITE members were able to enjoy some fresh air and a short walk with friends during lunch! All in all, the day was a great success.

SSUG activities will continue this fall as opportunities to get together arise. If you would like to subscribe to the SSUG e-mail list to receive information on future meetings, please provide your contact information here:

NCSITE will host its annual meeting this year on November 15th at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, NC. SSUG will host a technical session during that meeting, and we look forward to seeing you there!