|Strong Concepts Newsletter||Volume 10, Number 1 November, 1998|
SIGNAL97 Is Here!
The long awaited 1997 Update to the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) has finally been published by the Transportation Research Board and SIGNAL97/TEAPAC is here to help you put it to work. SIGNAL97 is a major upgrade to the popular SIGNAL94 program which faithfully implements the procedures of the 1997 HCM Update for Chapter 9, Signalized Intersections.
Not only does SIGNAL97 perform a capacity analysis using the ever more complex capacity methodology, SIGNAL97 will also perform an optimization of the capacity analysis, optimizing any combination of the signal timings, cycle length and/or phasing in order to produce the best possible capacity analysis. And this is not just a text-book optimization, but a practical one that considers the variables a signal operator is concerned with, like maximizing through traffic movement while maintaining a certain minimum level of service performance for minor/side-street movements to minimize driver complaints. The optimization is also perfectly suited for planning studies where the future timings and/or phasings are unknown and the level of service of the best possible performance is needed.
Several major improvements to the HCM procedures (described later) make the HCM and SIGNAL97 more valuable than ever before. These include a much improved model for over-saturated conditions and better estimates of delay for actuated movements. SIGNAL97 also adds a new phasing option and important new queueing calculations, and can read SIGNAL94 data files.
You can be confident of the accuracy in SIGNAL97, as well. It was used to verify the accuracy of the manual calculations the TRB subcommittee performed to produce the sample calculations in the HCM. The author of SIGNAL97, Dennis Strong, chairs that subcommittee and was in responsible charge of the 1997 update for the Chapter. SIGNAL97 also has a long history of validation over the last quarter century, starting with SIGNAL in 1974 for the 1965 HCM, SIGNAL85 for the 1985 HCM and most recently SIGNAL94 for the 1994 HCM. Over the years, SIGNAL94 has become a defacto benchmark for the 1994 HCM, and SIGNAL97 appears destined for a similar role.
As with other TEAPAC programs, SIGNAL97 is available for any Windows platform you need, including 95, 98, NT and 3.x. Strong Concepts even continues to support the diminishing DOS world with a DOS version of SIGNAL97, which is provided free with any Windows license. Our normal Windows distribution media is a CD-ROM which includes versions for all Windows platforms, plus the DOS version. The CD also includes licensed or demo versions of all other TEAPAC programs.
The optimizing version of SIGNAL97 is now available for a license fee of $595, a bargain when you consider the time and money you'll save using its unique optimization! Licensees of SIGNAL94 can upgrade to SIGNAL97 for only $295, $395 if upgrading from DOS. Read on to find other exciting features found in SIGNAL97 and other TEAPAC programs, then call to order your copy today.
New TEAPAC Licensing Offers FREE Updates
With the release of SIGNAL97 and WinNOSTOP (see below), TEAPAC licenses now come with an important new feature which will be appreciated by all of its users. Now, when an update for any TEAPAC program is produced, it will be published to the Internet on our WWW homepage where it can be downloaded by any licensed user free of charge. Any number of 'updates' can be downloaded this way until a major new release is created (called an 'upgrade'), and the downloads can be performed without any correspondence or special arrangement with Strong Concepts. The user's prior license information will be automatically applied to the downloaded version.
This new update procedure will accomplish several important objectives. First, more users will have immediate access to software updates so they can take advantage of enhancements and problem fixes without concern for cost approvals or delivery delays. Second, this will free up the Strong Concepts development team to spend more time making these type of enhancements with greater frequency.
Our ultimate goal is to provide regular and frequent updates which are even more responsive to user requests than before, to advise licensed, registered users of these enhancements via email, and to provide an on-line list of changes made for each version of each program so users can decide for themselves whether the update seems worthwhile to them.
Updates can still be ordered directly from Strong Concepts for a nominal fee, and costs for more significant 'upgrades' will still be greatly discounted.
WinNOSTOP Hits the Streets
After comprehensive beta testing, the popular TEAPAC program NOSTOP joins SIGNAL97, SIGNAL94, PREPASSR, PRETRANSYT and PRENETSIM as a true Windows program! TEAPAC users are now able to combine the proven performance of NOSTOP's simplified bandwidth optimization (in use for nearly twenty years) with the user friendliness of Windows. With its introduction, TEAPAC maintains its leadership position as the only comprehensive suite of traffic operations programs available for both the graphical Windows environment and DOS! Supported platforms include Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT and Windows 3.x, as well as continuing support for DOS. This Windows implementation incorporates the unique graphical user interface called the TEAPAC Visual Mode which makes the programs quite intuitive by using the familiar Windows environment to its fullest potential. WinTEAPAC programs also retain the powerful Manual Mode for "power users". Combined with SIGNAL97's unique HCM-based signal timing and phasing optimizer, this makes WinTEAPAC an unmatched opportunity for signal timing optimization and evaluation using Windows.
Each WinTEAPAC program includes context-sensitive help and a complete, on-line user guide with comprehensive search capabilities, even for Windows 3.x. Data files for these Windows versions are compatible with previous DOS versions of all TEAPAC programs, including SITE for traffic impact studies, and are interchangeable between all operating system platforms. WinTEAPAC programs boast 2-3 times computing speed over their DOS counterparts. Also, the powerful and unique Control File feature of TEAPAC is still available, allowing continued use of WinTEAPAC for batch analyses which perform multi-scenario, multi-file computations with a single command.
The release of this new Windows version of NOSTOP is also accompanied by a new release of its DOS counterpart and a new release of all TEAPAC programs which now exploit the latest standard TEAPAC interface, Ver 3.03 (27AUG98). In particular, the new interface supports the new licensing technique described earlier which allows free download of updates, and provides full Year 2000 compliancy (see article below). The new interface also provides much-improved printer support for the DOS programs, particularly direct HP LaserJet support and enhanced network (or shared) printer features. Further, PRETRANSYT has been enhanced to recognize the new output format of TRANSYT Release 8 so its results can be Imported back into PRETRANSYT. Other enhancements have been made to most of the other TEAPAC programs, as well.
WinNOSTOP and all WinTEAPAC programs are available from Strong Concepts for the same low price as the DOS versions, and DOS licenses can be upgraded for a substantially reduced fee. The WinNOSTOP upgrade is $195 or $245 depending on the size you have.
Call Strong Concepts or visit our web page at www.StrongConcepts.com for other upgrade pricing, and get on the road to using the most effective and efficient signal timing and analysis software suite.
1997 HCM Now Available
As mentioned earlier, TRB's
Highway Capacity Committee recently published an update to the
Highway Capacity Manual which included major enhancements to
Chapter 9, Signalized Intersections. The following paragraphs
summarize the changes which have been made:
These major enhancements result in a Highway Capacity Manual which continues its trend of greater applicability to our everyday traffic challenges. These enhancements can be found in the newly published SIGNAL97 program from Strong Concepts, as described earlier.
WWW Internet Home Page
A vast amount of information about
TEAPAC and Strong Concepts is available at our recently updated
World Wide Web home page on the Internet, located at
In particular, you might want to download a free demo of the new programs described in this InfoQueue like WinSIGNAL97 or WinNOSTOP and see what all the excitement is about. You can even join our mailing list here or send us E-mail (info@StrongConcepts.com). Visit the new page and see the latest at Strong Concepts.
Courses Featuring TEAPAC
"Timing Traffic Signals Using TEAPAC, PASSER, TRANSYT and NETSIM/CORSIM" is a popular course which has a focus on specific solutions to signal timing and simulation problems from isolated intersections and arterials to diamond interchanges and grid systems. Hands-on work problems using the software mentioned provide the user with real experience applying these solutions with the only software package that integrates all of these programs into a single system of software. The TEAPAC programs used include the latest versions of SIGNAL97, NOSTOP, PREPASSR, PRETRANSYT and PRENETSIM, in addition to PASSER-II, TRANSYT-7F and TRAF-NETSIM/CORSIM.
What have past participants said?
"Timing Traffic Signals Using TEAPAC was right on target. I gained knowledge that I will use immediately."
"The wealth of information I got from this workshop was definitely worth it, especially the understanding of the theories behind each software program."
This very popular course is next
offered at the following locations:
The three-day course in Orlando will be followed by the two-day course "Advanced TEAPAC Application Techniques" March 18-19 which provides hands-on exercises for multi-file, multi-scenario analyses, batch analyses and comprehensive multi-program integration using TEAPAC and the above programs.
Call Strong Concepts at (847) 564-0386 for more course information and check our web page for future offerings. Dennis Strong, author of TEAPAC and Chairman of the Signalized Intersection subcommittee of the TRB HCM Highway Capacity Committee, is the primary instructor for all of these course.
TEAPAC is Y2K Compliant
Everyone is getting more and more concerned about Year 2000 (Y2K) Compliancy as the new millennium approaches. With the release of the new TEAPAC Interface Ver 3.03 described above, all TEAPAC programs are now 'officially' Y2K compliant. But even if you have an older version, your Y2K problems will be minimal! The only place in older TEAPAC programs where dates after 1999 may be a problem is in the date display in report headings. The only offense will be that the year is represented as '**', and this heading display can be turned off so that no date appears. In no case will any wrong answers be produced. On the other hand, any version of any Windows program from Strong Concepts is fully Y2K compliant, and any DOS program with a release date in 1996 or later is also fully Y2K compliant.
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updated March 11, 2004