Atlanta’s Signal Timing Improvements
This is a guest post from Faye DiMassimo, General Manager – Renew Atlanta
Have you ever sat in traffic wondering if the traffic lights were on a timer of some sort? Well you might not know that The City of Atlanta has more than 900 traffic signals, but not all of them have been coordinated. However, through collaboration and partnership with Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), by late summer 2017, all of these traffic signals will be coordinated at the system level.
Once complete, Atlanta drivers will notice a reduction in their travel times. In fact, they will spend less time stopped and queued in traffic at signalized locations because once they get a green light indication, they will progress through multiple intersections throughout a coordinated corridor. Remember those rare days when you felt like you had light karma? Now everyone will feel that way on a regular basis.
In addition to the coordinated light signals, there are many other traffic signal upgrade projects still planned and underway through collaboration with GDOT, the Renew Atlanta Bond and TSPLOST programs, which will provide advanced pedestrian, bicyclist and vehicle detection throughout the City. These projects will further enhance the capabilities of the traffic signal systems and provide optimal coordination for Atlanta drivers.
Want to really nerd out on traffic signals? You might be interested to learn that advanced traffic signal firmware and central system software were installed spring 2017 through GDOT’s statewide license to provide improved traffic management to all City signals. In fact, Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures (ATSPM) will be used to continuously check the performance of signals and coordinated systems on an ongoing basis, and ATSPM will provide level of service checks on how well the systems are doing. Over time, historical data will be used to better plan for special events throughout the City and provide the most optimal driving experience for Atlanta drivers.
As part of the City’s Smart City efforts, September 14th marks the ribbon cutting of the City’s first Smart Corridor located on North Avenue from Georgia Tech to the Ponce City Market. This will include the modern adaptive signals with artificial intelligence, called Surtrac that is uniquely designed for complex traffic situations, traffic and bike-ped detection, transit signal prioritization, sensors and cameras, resurfacing and restriping. The City will continue to expand these Smart Corridor efforts with the next areas including Campbellton Road, the Buckhead Loop and downtown, which will be a tremendous benefit for large scale events.