City plans to install 'adaptive' traffic signals as part of pilot project

Published: Nov. 16, 2015 at 7:06 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2015 at 9:14 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hitting red light after red light after red light is frustrating, to put it mildly.

But poorly-time traffic signals are also costly, and they can actually make traffic worse.

That's why the city is launching a pilot program to install new "adaptive signal control technology" in at least three traffic corridors.

The new traffic signals are designed to "adapt" to traffic flow, getting more cars through green lights and distributing green lights more "equitably."

City officials say they're still working to determine which corridors would get the new signals. The cost for installing the new signals: $25,000 to $40,000, per intersection.

The city doesn't yet have a timeline for installation, but officials have already started talking to community members about the project.

Benefits of adaptive signals include "improved traffic flow, fewer delays, reduced wait times, out-of-cycle signal time, and gas/time savings for individual motorists," said city Department of Transportation Services Director Mike Formby.

He added the pilot is aimed at proving the technology works.

The federal government is pushing cities to install adaptive traffic signals, which use sensors to determine which lights should be red and which should green. Traffic signals "talk" to each other within a specific traffic corridor, and adjust minute-by-minute to traffic flow.

Traditional timing for traffic signals is based on historical data.

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