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At last night’s City Council Workshop, Hudson City Council watched a presentation on adaptive signal technology and how it can improve traffic flow and throughout the City.
What is Adaptive Signal Technology?
In the simplest terms, adaptive signal technology uses fiber technology to adjust the timing of traffic lights in real-time to control the flow of traffic and reduce travel times. Hudson has a unique challenge when it comes to traffic, since SR 91 cannot be widened and creating bypasses around the city would impact businesses that rely on customers traveling through town.
Hudson’s current traffic timing system is programmed based on manual traffic studies. It does not adapt to immediate circumstances such as accidents or lane closures. With adaptive signal technology, data is received and processed from sensors in real-time to optimize signal timing to accommodate changing traffic patterns as they occur.
Each signal talks to the others, notifying the system when a backup occurs. The signals change to let backed up traffic through and clear out intersections all along the system to keep traffic moving. Adaptive signal technology reduces congestion, improves traffic times and improves safety.
What are the Benefits of Adaptive Signals?
With adaptive signal technology, traffic signals communicate with each other. The system immediately recognizes a traffic back up and takes steps to adjust signal timing to move traffic through congested intersections. Adaptive signals:
Examples of adaptive signal technology in Ohio can be seen in Brunswick, Westlake, Avon, and Beachwood, among others. These cities showed a decrease in travel times and better traffic flow with the new adaptive technology.
A study performed by TMS Engineers, Inc. estimated that by improving the timing and updating equipment on our current traffic signals, Hudson could see a 15% decrease in travel time, with an additional 15% decrease with the installation of adaptive signals (for a total of 30%). Not only would travel times decrease, it would help reduce the number of stops and improve safety.
Three options/levels were presented to Council for consideration.
The City would apply for grant funding to help offset the total cost for the medium and higher price options, reducing the cost to the City.
Council is considering moving forward on the downtown area low-cost improvements quickly and pursuing the adaptive signal options once the initial modifications to the system are underway.