BOS Hoping for Intelligent Traffic Lights on 29

The Board of Supervisors is trying to convince VDOT to install condition-adaptive traffic lights on 29 North, Sean Tubbs reports for Charlottesville Tomorrow. The Virginia Department of Transportation has already outfitted the Pantops area, installing Rhythm Engineering’s InSync hardware package at every intersection between Route 64 and High Street. The lights use video cameras to track the rate of traffic coming from each direction in each lane, and adjusts the lights accordingly. That way a light doesn’t stay green when there’s no oncoming traffic while cars are stacked up at a red, waiting to cross that same intersection.

VDOT isn’t enthusiastic about the proposal, because 29 North would require coordinating a couple of dozen lights at a cost of about $800,000, a rather more complex installation than they’re looking to do right now. Perhaps this should have been tried prior to spending a couple of hundred million dollars to build a bypass around our bypass.

The Pantops installation has been in place for a year now. My daily commute requires that I turn onto 250 from 20, and vice-versa. The difference has been like night and day. It used to take 3–5 light cycles for me to turn onto 20; now it takes 1–2. I get home 5–10 minutes faster every day.

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