C’ville Traffic Lights Getting Synched

After I asked what the funny antennae on the traffic lights are here on cvillenews.com, Mayor Brown broke the news that traffic would be getting synchronized. In Monday’s Daily Progress, John Yellig explained the plan for lights to get synchronized across the city, and it sounds pretty impressive.

Right now West Main is synched up, but soon Emmet and Preston will likewise be synched up. Three employees will sit in the city’s Intelligent Transportation System Center on Fourth Street, watching traffic on closed-circuit TVs, and adjust the lights in real time during peak traffic hours. Later in the four-phase, $2M project, all 69 traffic signals in the city will be wired into the ITS. Councilor Kevin Lynch wants to see the buses wired into the system, giving them priority at traffic lights.

I, for one, welcome our new traffic overlords.

7 thoughts on “C’ville Traffic Lights Getting Synched”

  1. Councilor Kevin Lynch wants to see the buses wired into the system, giving them priority at traffic lights.

    On the surface it may seem like a good idea. However I think Councilor Lynch’s proposal is a bad one. I’m all for letting emergency vehicles (police, ambulance, and fire) have that perk, it complements their sirens and makes the intersection all the more safer for them to pass thru. But not Buses. That would defeat the purpose of synching the lights.

    Additionally I’m all for synching up the traffic lights, as long as they- the new traffic overlords- are willing to make tweaks and adjustments to the system at any new pinch points that may occur from the new system as a result of the synching.

    Anyway those are my preliminary thoughts on this subject.

  2. But not Buses. That would defeat the purpose of synching the lights.

    I suspect that it can be done within certain parameters that would improve the flow, rather than impede it, given the ability to determine flow rates in all directions at the light. If lights simple changed from red to green when a bus approached, regardless of current traffic conditions, I think we could all agree that’d be trouble.

  3. Speeding up the flow of vehicle traffic on Main Street makes the street more dangerous and less pedestrian and bike friendly. I walk and drive down Main regularly. It was fine the way it was.

  4. I suspect that it can be done within certain parameters that would improve the flow, rather than impede it, given the ability to determine flow rates in all directions at the light.

    It’s supposedly going to be extending the green light so that the bus can get through. Which is a huge deal for two reasons: first, it means it’s easier for buses to stay on schedule during rush hours; and second, it means that high traffic intersections will be safer. Many traffic lights in town have yellow lights that are too short for a bus to stop in, even if the bus is going significantly under the speed limit.

  5. I was wondering what all those pan/tilt/zoom big-brother-esque cameras were for. Thanks for getting to the bottom of that.

    The question is, how do we tap into the signals to spy on traffic ourselves? Anybody know who got the bid to install this stuff?

Comments are closed.