Answer Man: ‘Smart’ traffic lights in Asheville? – Citizen Times

25September 2020

Today’s batch of burning questions, my smart-aleck answers and the genuine offer: Concern: I frequently find myself sitting at stoplights at significant crossways in Asheville and the surrounding area. There are times when there is no cross-traffic after the preliminary variety of automobiles originating from the perpendicular instructions have actually crossed the crossway or made their preferred turn. Then, for the next period of time, I and a number of other automobiles wait on no factor besides the light series is timed. I have heard that there are such things as wise red light utilizing expert system that have the capability to collaborate the light changes based upon the traffic pattern. Do any of those smart stop lights exist in our location, and if so where? Are there any strategies to get more of them into the proper places in our community? Just how much do these units expense compared to a routine stoplight? Do they have video cameras so they can tape-record if individuals run a red light?

My response: I do not know, however the existing traffic signal circumstance does jibe well with Asheville’s brand-new tourism motto:” Asheville: Come being in traffic with us! You might even see a mountain!”

Genuine response: The threat in asking traffic engineers this type of question is that they will respond to in full.

More:Response Guy: Why a lot of sirens in Asheville? Secret bin mix-up?

I jest.

The responses I got from city of Asheville Traffic Engineer Andrew Cibor and North Carolina DOT Traffic Engineer Anna Henderson were extensive and well-stated. Let’s begin with Cibor, who kept in mind that Asheville has about 250 signalized intersections.

” The majority of them are owned and maintained by the North Carolina Department of Transportation,”Cibor stated.” The city of Asheville owns and preserves about 40 signalized crossways.”The result is this: We have some quite technically advance signals around here, consisting of some with clever features, but not technically “smart” signals. Wikipedia keeps in mind that “smart traffic control or Smart traffic control are an automobile traffic control system that combines standard traffic control with an array of sensors and artificial intelligence to smartly route automobile and pedestrian traffic. They can form part of a bigger intelligent transport system.”

The city is not authorized to have “traffic signal” electronic cameras on its traffic signals to catch those running lights, Cibor said, however the city’s signals do have some extra functions.

Hendersonville Road, notorious for lots of traffic lights that aren't all that well synced, is pictured in this file photo.

“This year, the city updated all of its traffic signals with pedestrian signals to provide a walk indication every signal cycle in response to the pandemic,”Cibor said.”This modification eliminated the need for pedestrians to activate(touch)the pedestrian

push button. N.C. DOT did the exact same in areas of town with considerable pedestrian traffic, such as downtown and along Haywood Road.” More: These are the worst crossways in Asheville for pedestrians and automobiles The outcome is signals provide” a green light and walk indication for a small leg of an intersection, even when no automobiles or pedestrians are

present and might be what your reader has been observing.” Traffic signals typically are pre-timed or activated.”Most pre-timed traffic signals are in the Central Business District where signals remain in close distance to each other and they have actually a set cycle length and phasing that does not alter,”Cibor said.”Actuated traffic signals usually have detector loops in the pavement that send messages to the signal controller when an automobile passes over them, which enables them to adjust their phase lengths depending upon traffic flow.”As for plans to include more, Cibor stated the DOT”just recently completed a major upgrade to signalized crossways in the Asheville location, which included brand-new controllers and cabinets.”If you’re actually into this

topic( and who among us is not?), the DOT noted that you can find out more about signals here: Henderson, who operates in the Asheville DOT office, stated,”A bulk of the traffic signals in and around Asheville have actually been just recently upgraded to operate as a connected system.”These signals are set to maximize traffic circulation along the significant corridors while still offering

gain access to from the side road, “Henderson continued.”With the new system, we can from another location keep an eye on traffic circulation and change the signal timing if required.

“More: Answer Guy:’ Dysfunction Junction’still a hot mess? Any option in sight? As far as actual”wise “traffic signals, Henderson said they have discovered they’re “too pricey and an inefficient use of taxpayer cash.”The’wise ‘signals cost roughlytwice as much per signal, and would require to be installed along a whole corridor, not simply one crossway,”Henderson stated.”So, we use traffic counts to develop

pre-programmed timing strategies which alter throughout the day to match the expected traffic patterns on a typical day.””For instance, signals are programed to prefer traffic travelling to downtown in the early morning on Patton Opportunity, Merrimon Opportunity, and the Hendersonville Roadway corridors,” Henderson continued.”Then in the late afternoon, the traffic

signals on those passages are set to favor traffic leaving the city.”Henderson likewise noted that traffic counts are determined every other year on main paths such as Patton Avenue, Merrimon Opportunity, and Hendersonville Roadway.

As far as traffic cams, you will occasionally notice them on signal poles, but they’re not there to catch you breaking the law.

“The traffic cameras drivers see are utilized for viewing traffic and do not contribute to the operation of the traffic signal,” Henderson said. “They do not tape or take pictures.”

This is the viewpoint of John Boyle. To submit a concern, contact him at 232-5847 or citizen-times. com

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