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Adaptive Traffic Signals Could Help Nashville Traffic

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Posted at 7:00 PM, Aug 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-07 17:10:07-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - New technology has finally reached our traffic light system and it's promising to make things better around Nashville.

Adaptive traffic signals was one of many topics covered at the Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Annual Meeting.

Michael Mauritz with TransCore, a Nashville-based transportation company, says adaptive traffic signals can address many problems facing Nashville.

"Right now there are about 180 cities in the US that have this system, including Los Angeles and New York," said Mauritz.

He explained the lights work in conjunction with the detection system already in place, a computer network connects all the traffic lights together so they can adapt to traffic conditions.

Mauritz says all the lights would be able to be controlled from a centralized location.

"It's a network that allows the signals in the area to communicate with one another back to a central system and you can take these and build them as little pockets focusing on different areas and of course you have an overall strategy for the whole city."

Metro Public Works is aware of the new technology. Mark Macy, Director of Engineering says the city needs to do other work before we can adapt a new system. They have already started replacing the controllers and once that's completed they'll work to synchronize all traffic signals.

"If there's a 40 percent opportunity to improve traffic, synchronization can do 35 percent of it without any disruption to the infrastructure. It's all inside this computer" said Macy.

The cost to replace one intersection with an adaptive traffic signal can be up to $25,000.00.

Michael Mauritz says cities like Los Angeles and New York have already implemented the new technology.