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Council approves system to improve traffic for north Tyler

Council approves system to improve traffic for north Tyler
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POSTED: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 11:28am

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 12:15pm

The Tyler City Council took a decisive step forward in their effort to improve traffic flow today when they voted unanimously to expand the City’s adaptive control system (ACS) to a section of the NNW Loop 323. The ACS system uses cameras and radar to detect traffic volumes and makes signal timing adjustments in real time.

“The ACS system is like having a traffic engineer at every intersection making constant adjustments,” explained Traffic Engineer Peter Eng. “This will be the fourth corridor where we have installed this technology. We are seeing significant improvements in traffic progression and anticipate a similar impact with this project.”

In addition to the camera and radar detection equipment, the City also will install a radio communication system using a combination of underground wiring and wireless equipment as well as a cable modem.

“Tyler will be the first City in Texas to use this cutting edge technology that combines radar and camera detection,” said Eng. “This will allow for detection of oncoming vehicles up to 600 feet and will provide count, speed and occupancy data.”

The Northwest Loop corridor includes intersections at Robertson Road, Shaw Street, State Highway 31W, State Highway 64W, Lions Drive, State Highway 110N, Silvercreek Drive, and US Highway 69N.

The move to adaptive signal control systems began with the South Broadway corridor in 2007. The Southwest Loop corridor and then the East Loop corridors followed in 2011. The Northwest Loop corridor is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2012.

“An adaptive traffic signal control system allows timing calculations and changes based upon real-time traffic flow,” added Eng. “Detection equipment senses the number and speed of vehicles approaching the intersection and communicates the information to the traffic controller, which processes the calculations and changes the timing plans to best accommodate signal timing within the corridor.”

Future projects with adaptive concepts will include the Beckham Avenue and Front Street corridors.

Utilization of the ACS technology was a recommendation from the Tyler 21 plan to help ease traffic congestion.

“Addressing traffic congestion was the number one concern identified in the Tyler 21 comprehensive plan,” shared Mayor Barbara Bass. “The City has taken many steps to improve traffic flow in the last three years and has made a lot of headway. I think this enhancement will keep us moving in the right direction.”

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