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Traffic Lights

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Traffic Lights

Postby Blast » Nov 25th, 2017, 6:07 am

If politicians really wanted to save the environment, they would coordinate the traffic lights. Nothing is more frustrating than going block to block and stopping for a red light. I suffered years in Winnipeg of stop and go traffic.

Is Hwy 97 through WestK and Kelowna a Provincial responsibility or Municipal? Regardless the stop and go ebb should be addressed.

Below is what some cities in the US are doing. This example is the Phoenix, AZ area.

http://www.azfamily.com/story/36873503/ ... n-5-cities
More green lights? New tech should ease traffic along Bell Road in 5 cities - Maria Hechanova - 17 Nov 2017
(Video at link)
One of the busiest roads in the Phoenix metro area may see some traffic congestion relief thanks to new technology.

Drivers from five cities from the northwest to the northeast parts will be affected. It includes Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix and Scottsdale.

New camera sensors called adaptive signals powered by high-tech software will change lights automatically to improve traffic flow. A staffer at the Maricopa County Department of Transportation control center will no longer have to change it manually via computer.

That means you may be hitting more consecutive green lights and spending less time waiting at an intersection.

A total of 50 intersections along Bell Road will get the adaptive signals. They’re the taller white cameras you see on top of the traffic light poles.

Bell Road stretches 34 miles from Surprise to Scottsdale. Only 16 miles, less than half of Bell Road, are getting the new signals. It's broken up into four sections centered around freeway interchanges.

[MAP: Where will these adaptive lights be on Bell Road?]

That means a section of consecutive lights on Bell Road and Loop 101 (both in Scottsdale and around Peoria/Glendale), Bell Road and Interstate17, and Bell Road and the Loop 303 will have this technology.

Bell Road is one of the longest corridors in the nation to start installing new technology to help traffic move faster.

It’s also one of the nation’s longest and busiest corridors. MCDOT estimates as many as 50,000 drivers use it every day.

Nicole Moon, a spokeswoman for Maricopa County, hopes the flow becomes so good, it allows for people to use Bell Road as an alternate route if there’s an accident on the freeways.

Moon tells me results have been favorable so far.

The Scottsdale section has been active for about a month.

Moon says the next section is in the Glendale/Peoria portion. It's in the testing phase and should be ready to activate by the beginning of December.

The sections in Surprise by the 303 and Phoenix are by the I-17 are expected to be installed and tested by the beginning of 2018.

MCDOT expects all 50 intersections up and running by spring 2018.

The cost for the Bell Road Adaptive Signals Project is $2.7 million, paid for by a federal grant.


https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/ ... icall.html
A New Smart Technology will Help Cities Drastically Reduce their Traffic Congestion - Adina Solomon - 7 Apr 2017

Rev, brake, honk, rev, brake. The pattern seems familiar to most of us. In 2015, American commuters spent more than 8 billion hours in traffic. If a robotics professor at Carnegie Mellon University has his way, that number could shrink.

Meet Stephen Smith, who has outfitted Pittsburgh with traffic signals that use artificial intelligence to react to traffic conditions in real time. These smart lights reduce travel time by 25 percent, braking by 30 percent and idling by more than 40 percent.

It began in Smith’s research lab at Carnegie Mellon. About six years ago, a local philanthropist with seed money wanted the university to address transportation in the Pittsburgh area. In 2012, Smith’s team installed a network of nine signals across the city.

“We’re fortunate that we have a really progressive thinking administration in the city. We have a great working relationship with the public works department there. They’ve been really helpful,” Smith said. “To be honest, they were a little hesitant to let us try at first, but with the backing of local foundations, they decided to give it a try. And then once they saw it was working, they became much more of a partner in the situation. The local administration here is really keen on putting technology to use and trying to become a model city of the future.”

Based on the positive results of the pilot, Smith obtained funding to expand the network. The smart signals now guide traffic at a network of 50 intersections in the east end of Pittsburgh.

In 2015, the company Rapid Flow Technologies spun out of Carnegie Mellon. The company, which develops intelligent transportation technology, expects to install its Surtrac traffic light system in about 150 more intersections in the next three years, covering about a third of Pittsburgh.

How It Works

Each traffic light makes its own decisions regarding when to turn red or green. First, Rapid Flow puts a computer at each intersection with a detection camera or radar.

“Each individual intersection watches the traffic approaching it and in real time, it builds a timing plan, a sort of plan of how much green time it’s going to give to each approach, so that the vehicles it’s seen through its detection get through as efficiently as possible,” said Smith, who serves as CEO of Rapid Flow.

After a smart signal studies the situation, it communicates expected traffic to its downstream neighbors. Those neighboring traffic lights go through the same process, each intersection working with information relayed by another intersection.

“It’s those intersections communicating with one another that get us this coordinated network behavior, progressions of green as you move,” Smith said.

Most smart traffic lights in the U.S. concentrate on main artery roads, but Rapid Flow focuses on grid networks that have “multiple dominant flows across traffic that can meet with one another and change through the day,” Smith said.

“In those kinds of settings, you really can’t count on the fact that you know what the dominant flow is. The system has to discover it at the time, and that’s what our system does.”

And it does it in real time, computing time plans in less than a subsecond. The signal’s goal is to compute as quickly as the traffic speeding through the intersection.

The traffic lights also hold the power of prediction.

“We can actually project out what the traffic is going to be like one or two or three cycles from now, a cycle being the full time through a green light,” Smith said. “That’s what allows us to communicate information between intersections and get this coordinating picture of what’s going to happen over the next two, three, four minutes.”

On the Road to the Future

Based on the reduced travel times in Pittsburgh’s smart intersections, Rapid Flow wants to bring the technology to cities across the U.S. It has entered negotiations with Los Angeles area municipalities, Burlington, Vermont, and eastern Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, Rapid Flow has three full-time employees, not including Smith who works part time. The company expects to grow its staff over the next year.

Rapid Flow also has other projects in the works to make roads more efficient. During the past few years, the company has worked on making its real-time signal control work for connected cars equipped with radios.

“If two vehicles have these radios, they basically each put out a message every couple of seconds saying, ‘Here I am. Here’s my direction, and here’s my speed.’ And then if they get too close to each other, they can either alert the driver to take adverse evasive action or maybe just do it autonomously,” Smith said.

With Rapid Flow’s technology, intersections can tell these connected cars if the light is about to turn red or green, allowing the vehicle to adjust. Half of Rapid Flow’s 50 intersections in Pittsburgh already have dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) radios, and the city has plans to equip the remainder later this year. The 150 additional intersections will also have DSRC radios.

Right now, the company is running a simulation for another technology that would allow a vehicle to share its intended route with the smart intersections. A navigation device in the car could relay information to the intersection, allowing a car through the network up to 25 percent faster, Smith said.

“The more people that are equipped, the more people can get that benefit. The overall performance of the network just improves,” he said. “It sounds a little magical, but it’s actually really simple. It’s just that we’re giving the signal system more information, so we can do a better job of optimizing it. It doesn’t have to guess what vehicles are going to turn here, turn there.”

Work on many of these projects has become possible in part because of Smith’s results from the initial smart traffic lights.

“I think having the really strong results makes a big difference,” he said. “People are much more receptive to listening to you.”

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Re: Traffic Lights

Postby Dizzy1 » Nov 25th, 2017, 8:30 am

New technology? Lmao lol. Europe has had green light waves for well over half a century lol
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Re: Traffic Lights

Postby TylerM4 » Nov 25th, 2017, 8:38 am

Dizzy1 wrote:New technology? Lmao lol. Europe has had green light waves for well over half a century lol


Sure. Except that's completely different technology than what the OP is referencing. Perhaps take another read?
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Re: Traffic Lights

Postby spooker » Nov 25th, 2017, 9:43 am

Timely post ... just read this about Toronto yesterday

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/smart-traffic-signals-1.4417573

Yes, we should use our technology for good, instead of Facebook ...
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Re: Traffic Lights

Postby GordonH » Nov 25th, 2017, 11:12 am

I'm all for anything that enables better traffic flow.
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Re: Traffic Lights

Postby Dizzy1 » Nov 25th, 2017, 9:57 pm

TylerM4 wrote:
Dizzy1 wrote:New technology? Lmao lol. Europe has had green light waves for well over half a century lol


Sure. Except that's completely different technology than what the OP is referencing. Perhaps take another read?

I read it, thanks - not the first time this has been brought up here.

Cameras, sensors, all been in use before. Nothing new.
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Re: Traffic Lights

Postby dodgerdodge » Nov 26th, 2017, 12:00 am

Talking of traffic lights has anyone noticed we now have yet one more set of lights on 97 before you reach Sexsmith intersection so although they are spending untold millions widening the road and improving the flow they have added another set of lights which means more stop/go
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Re: Traffic Lights

Postby Grandan » Nov 26th, 2017, 8:31 am

dodgerdodge wrote:Talking of traffic lights has anyone noticed we now have yet one more set of lights on 97 before you reach Sexsmith intersection so although they are spending untold millions widening the road and improving the flow they have added another set of lights which means more stop/go

That is a busy intersection that is backed up in traffic and makes it impossible to exit from Cambro Road at busy times of the day. No doubt it is an inconvenience for many drivers but for the drivers attempting to get out of there it is a god send.
It also happens to be an important intersection serving the huge amount of development to the south of UBCO.
There is no widening on Sexsmith so no millions being spent there, plus this is a different contract than the Hwy 97 widening down the road.
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Re: Traffic Lights

Postby dirtybiker » Nov 26th, 2017, 9:40 am

Advanced technology ? It is the technology that has screwed the system to it's
present day exercise in futility.

Back in the day lights were timed, so many minutes this way, so many minutes that way.
Heavier volume roads got longer spells than feeder roads.

If one maintained a certain speed, you were clean and green from end to end.

If ya went too slow, or too fast, you caught reds.

Now there are so many sensors, making the systems so complicated that there are no set patterns
to how they work anymore, making it nigh on impossible to achieve any flow.

Oh, and getting rid of the most ridiculous of all lights, University Way and 97.
Absolutely no good reason for there to be a light there.

Biggest problem in our Region is too many minor feeder roads, each getting a light.
In the stead of fewer feeder roads and the utilization of a few over-passes.

Bass akwards thinking by over-educated academia shut ins attempting to have
justifications for their positions over real world conditions they seem to know
little about.
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Re: Traffic Lights

Postby TylerM4 » Nov 26th, 2017, 10:40 am

Dizzy1 wrote:I read it, thanks - not the first time this has been brought up here.

Cameras, sensors, all been in use before. Nothing new.



Funny. You've gone from timing the lights "light waves" to "camera and sensors". It appears you did re-read it after all. It's OK to admit to a mistake.

But you still don't appear to get it. Yes, camera and sensors have been around for decades. But that's not what's new here. The new technology is using those sensors and cameras to view the traffic and identify where there is congestion in numerous places at once, then use computers to analyze the information and make strategic light timing decisions across many lights at the same time. Current technology uses a camera or in-road sensor simply to identify that a vehicle is stopped at the light. Timing decisions are made not based on # of vehicles stopped, and those timing decisions are made for that single light rather than harmonizing on multiple lights at once.
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Re: Traffic Lights

Postby TylerM4 » Nov 26th, 2017, 10:48 am

dirtybiker wrote:Advanced technology ? It is the technology that has screwed the system to it's
present day exercise in futility.

Now there are so many sensors, making the systems so complicated that there are no set patterns
to how they work anymore, making it nigh on impossible to achieve any flow.



You also don't appear to have understood the technology the article is mentioning. The new technology ties all of those sensors into a central computer to make smart decisions on multiple lights/timing. The whole idea is to make smart timing decisions based on the data from all sensors at all lights rather than each light trying to make timing decisions on it's own. It's to remove/resolve the exact problem you've identified.

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Re: Traffic Lights

Postby averagejoe » Nov 26th, 2017, 12:35 pm

In the late 1970's, Vancouver's Kingsway lights were co-ordinated that if you drove at 29 mph you would hit all the lights green.
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Re: Traffic Lights

Postby dodgerdodge » Nov 26th, 2017, 11:26 pm

Grandan wrote:That is a busy intersection that is backed up in traffic and makes it impossible to exit from Cambro Road at busy times of the day. No doubt it is an inconvenience for many drivers but for the drivers attempting to get out of there it is a god send.
It also happens to be an important intersection serving the huge amount of development to the south of UBCO.
There is no widening on Sexsmith so no millions being spent there, plus this is a different contract than the Hwy 97 widening down the road.


What are you talking about? Cambro Rd has nothing to do with it. Look at my post again and drive the highway, you will see. There is a new set of lights on Highway 97 before you reach Sexsmith intersection. It is in the new section being widened.
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Re: Traffic Lights

Postby Grandan » Nov 27th, 2017, 8:53 am

Grandan wrote:That is a busy intersection that is backed up in traffic and makes it impossible to exit from Cambro Road at busy times of the day. No doubt it is an inconvenience for many drivers but for the drivers attempting to get out of there it is a god send.
It also happens to be an important intersection serving the huge amount of development to the south of UBCO.
There is no widening on Sexsmith so no millions being spent there, plus this is a different contract than the Hwy 97 widening down the road.

dodgerdodge wrote:What are you talking about? Cambro Rd has nothing to do with it. Look at my post again and drive the highway, you will see. There is a new set of lights on Highway 97 before you reach Sexsmith intersection. It is in the new section being widened.

Got it. I misunderstood the original post.
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Re: Traffic Lights

Postby Grandan » Nov 27th, 2017, 8:56 am

averagejoe wrote:In the late 1970's, Vancouver's Kingsway lights were co-ordinated that if you drove at 29 mph you would hit all the lights green.

That was before Kingsway became gridlocked.
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