October 8


I do a large number of turning movement counts for re-timing traffic signals.  I'm fortunate that agencies in Minnesota believe in keeping their traffic signal equipment and operations up to date.  New technology could eliminate my role though with new systems that don't require the collection of turning movement counts.

I recently attended a webinar about the InSync traffic adaptive signal system.  Traffic adaptive computerized systems have been around for decades, but they have historically been expensive and complicated (often working better in theory than in practice).  InSync seems to have come up with a simple system that will continuously update the signal timing plans along a corridor based on the traffic volume demand.  They aren't the first to claim to do this, but they seem to be one of the first to be delivering what they promise.  I recommend sitting in for one of their sales webinars if you have anything to do with traffic signals.

The system seems inexpensive enough (+/- $25,000 per intersection for the video camera detectors and their computer that will work on top of the standard traffic signal controller).  Not much of an up charge compared with just putting in video camera detection.  I'd give their system a try if I was a traffic engineer for a city or county with all in-pavement, hardwired detectors.

They have a tough market in Minnesota though.  Most of our traffic signals have video cameras working as traditional detectors.  All of these video cameras would have to be replaced with InSync video cameras.  Now if they could use any camera detection and pass those cost savings on to the agency …..

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    Mike Spack

    My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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