Traffic-counting technology to ease major jams

New car-counting tool will help adjust stoplights during worst gridlock

Posted 10/29/19

Parker is implementing new equipment to count the number of vehicles traveling along Parker Road throughout the day to manage traffic flow during unique circumstances. The town entered into a …

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Traffic-counting technology to ease major jams

New car-counting tool will help adjust stoplights during worst gridlock

Posted

Parker is implementing new equipment to count the number of vehicles traveling along Parker Road throughout the day to manage traffic flow during unique circumstances.

The town entered into a $134,000 contract with WL Contractors, approved as part of the Oct. 21 town council consent agenda, to install responsive traffic signal timing on Parker Road. The traffic lights along Parker Road currently operate on a fixed schedule based on average traffic times throughout the day. Rush hours have longer greens than non-rush hours. The new responsive traffic signal timing will be able to count the number of cars and adjust for any uncommon traffic volumes.

Chris Hudson, public works manager for the town, said, for example, if there's an accident on I-25 that pushes more traffic to Parker Road, the only other north-south corridor through Douglas County, the system will be able to adjust accordingly. Little things, he said, can have big impacts on traffic on the town's gateway road.

The device does not record video and has no “eyes,” Hudson said. It counts traffic and sends the information to a control room to adjust the traffic lights. Some municipalities are investing in “smart” adaptive signal technology that can adjust to traffic demands by the minute. Responsive signal tech, though still a “big leap” for the town in traffic technology, can only make adjustments for larger traffic issues that occur from unique circumstances.

Tom Williams, public works director, said the town hopes to install adaptive signal technology soon. For now, this responsive signal technology may not dramatically change commute times day-to-day, but it should end the days of monstrous Parker Road traffic jams.

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