The City of Irving Traffic Signal Division completed construction of its new traffic operations center, which is the nucleus of its Advanced Traffic Management System. The project, which includes a wireless communication network, is aimed at improving traffic safety and synchronizing traffic flow.
Since 2017, the Traffic and Transportation Department has upgraded 216 traffic signals and 114 school zone indicators, and added 90 traffic signal battery backup systems. Much like smart devices such as cellphones, laptops, tablets and voice-assistants that seamlessly synchronize and communicate with one another, the city’s wireless traffic management system will help motorists navigate Irving streets.
Before the upgrades, school zone indicators and traffic signals operated independently in the field. Traffic signal technicians manually programmed school zone indicators throughout the year to follow the Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Coppell and Irving Independent School Districts’ calendars. Inclement weather, power outages and vehicle accidents often required emergency services to direct traffic around congested areas.
With the new system in place and the operations center now active, city staff can monitor roadway issues throughout the day as traffic signals communicate with one another. This real time information will allow the traffic signal system to be proactive and adjust to current traffic flows. If an accident occurs, a traffic signal technician can increase the green light response time of area traffic signals to allow more drivers in and out of the area until the accident is cleared.
The operations center’s central management software allows traffic signal technicians to monitor all parts of the system remotely, which will help the staff identify opportunities for improvements to signal operations. Additionally, automatic notification of signal malfunctions such as power outages and flashing operations will alert on-call personnel outside of normal working hours.
Other benefits of the system include the staff’s ability to:
- Remotely connect and program school zone indicators from a central location.
- Monitor and adjust signal timing to help improve travel time along a corridor, as well as mitigate vehicle emissions.
- Coordinate with neighboring cities’ traffic signal systems across city limits.
City funding was augmented by the Federal Highway Administration through a grant from the North Central Texas Council of Governments Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program.
Visit Investing in Our Future for more information on the city’s ongoing infrastructure initiative.
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