BCID’s Partners Installing Technology to Address Buckhead’s Traffic Challenges
Buckhead has a great many positives – an abundance of incredible retailers and restaurants, the latest hotels, thriving businesses, beautiful residences, the Atlanta History Center and more. No doubt Buckhead is a draw, but as a result it also has traffic woes. Buckhead Community Improvement District is getting some help from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the City of Atlanta to create “smart” corridors by installing the latest technology to improve traffic flow.
The first technology, which intelligently controls traffic signals, is called Maxview Traffic Responsive, a traffic signal system technology that provides real-time signal performance analytics and responds to real-time traffic demands. The eyes and ears (senses) for the system will be fed by new advanced detection technology consisting of high-definition radar and thermal imaging cameras. The technology provides real-time response to changing traffic conditions and optimizes traffic flow second-by-second.
Buckhead drivers will ultimately experience reduced travel times, less time waiting at traffic signals, fewer stops and a reduction in emissions.
Here’s the good news. In just two months, the City of Atlanta will complete the first phase of the signal system installation in Buckhead with eight installation points along the Buckhead Loop, around Lenox Road and Phipps Boulevard. The installation also will include Glance, which is an emergency vehicle preemption and transit priority application.
And here’s the great news! We have a second phase that will be completed by December of this year, which will extend the system’s eight installation points to a total of 44. We will have an unprecedented amount of information, and on the fly adaptations of signal timing to improve traffic flow.
Since there are four separate state routes in the project area, all work on this project will require close partnership with GDOT, and will include before and after studies, as well as regular evaluation of performance measures.
The signal system deployment is being funded by the City of Atlanta’s Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. We can thank Atlanta City Council member Howard Shook (District 7), a BCID board member, for helping to secure this deployment for Buckhead.
Buckhead Loop Phase I Image
Buckhead Loop Phase II Image
The second technology program being implemented in Buckhead, this one by Georgia DOT, is called SPaT, for Signal Phase and Timing, and refers to communications associated with the operations of signalized intersections.
SPaT has several major components associated with its application, including connected vehicle technology called roadside equipment (RSE) and onboard equipment (OBE). A SPaT-formatted message can be used to convey the current status of a signal at an intersection to the operator of a vehicle.
In Buckhead, “these RSEs use antennas to push out the signal phase and timing information at various intersections using a dedicated spectrum for transportation,” said Andrew Heath, administrator, Office of Traffic Operations – Georgia DOT. “If you have an onboard unit in your vehicle, it will receive the information and tell you, for example, how much longer before a light turns red or green,” he added. Cars that are equipped to receive information from this technology, and plugged into an application could be warned in advance that a pedestrian was in the roadway, and to slow down in advance. Ultimately, SPaT will help the driving public modify its behavior to smooth out traffic flow. The technology is being beta-tested on Ponce de Leon Avenue in addition to Peachtree Road.
This technology is being deployed at intersections on Peachtree and Peachtree Boulevard from Bolling Way all the way up to North Peachtree Road near I-285 in Chamblee.
The future of traffic flow is coming to Buckhead! We look forward to your feedback and experience.