Energy conservation and emission reduction from the transportation sector are of great significance in coping with the global energy and environmental crisis. As the bottleneck of urban road traffic, intersection burdens the urban environment greatly. When the volume of left-turn traffic is large, the continuous flow intersection (CFI) can effectively improve intersection operation efficiency. This paper first put forward the definition and application conditions of CFI. Then its mechanism for energy saving and emission reduction was analysed. CFI transformation was designed taking a typical intersection in Xi’an as an example. Operating efficiency, energy consumption and emissions of the intersection before and after CFI transformation were evaluated using the VISSIM model. The results show that energy consumption and emissions in the intersection are greatly reduced after CFI transformation. Queue length is reduced by more than 41%. Energy consumption and pollutant emission are reduced by about 8%. Through the simulation analysis, the emission reduction benefits most when the volume of left-turn traffic is 80%–85% of the design capacity, and the ratio of leftturn
traffic over through traffic is maintained between 50% and 100%. This study suggests that CFI is suitable for large-scale promotion with careful examination.
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