July 2

1 comments

I had a great conversation with Tony Juettner of Brown Traffic at the Midwestern ITE District Annual meeting last week.  We were talking about the state of traffic signals in Minnesota as well as Insync's traffic adaptive control system.  Signals in Minnesota typically cost +/- $250,000.  

SignelectHere are features of a traffic signal system that would cost about half of what we currently spend:

  • Use the Insync system Rhythm Engineering is promising – complete adaptive controller with video detection (or similar) – replace the whole controller rack system with a small pc sized solid state computer.
  • Build the small controller into one of the signal pole bases
  • One 2 inch conduit from pole base to pole base to carry one cable for the lighting standard and one small gauge 50 pair cable to wire all of the indications and push buttons
  • Keep the whole system DC and put solar panels on each mast arm (we do a lot of unnecessary switching back and forth from AC to DC)
  • One small handhole by each mast arm pole base

This is an easy leap to make with 2013 technology.  The leap in 2025 will be when the whole system goes wireless and we can get rid of most of the wires.  The controller should be communicating with all of the cars on the road by then too.

p.s.  Thanks to MnDOT for the photo of a technician working in a signal cabinet.

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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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