Dressler, 39, asked the Inquirer and Daily News about traffic lights through Curious Philly , a platform for readers to ask questions about how the city and the region work.
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She wrote: I wonder about traffic lights! How is their programming determined?
Why are some lights seemingly red forever? Why aren't they timed to get you through many blocks faster? They also seem to break a lot at major intersections. What is the process and timeline for repair? If it seems to you, like Dressler, that you never catch three greens in a row, especially in certain sections of the city or the region, it's not your imagination. And if it seems that in some places red lights are longer — and green lights shorter — than in others, chances are excellent they are.
Here's one reason: With 2, municipalities, Pennsylvania is a national leader in its number of local governments, and unlike in New Jersey and other states, every single town owns and maintains the traffic signals within its borders. And there are other reasons that aren't hard to see: population growth, ride-sharing, construction, even safety. Slowing drivers down, goes the argument, might save lives. Traffic-engineering experts say municipalities should adjust the timing of lights every couple of years. Philadelphia, on the other hand, aims for citywide re-timings in a five-year cycle as well as by resident request at individual intersections.
But, traffic gurus pledge, help is on the way. Philadelphia is in the middle of a citywide traffic assessment, and is thinking about switching to the software that California uses to help manage its notoriously crowded roadways. And PennDot is considering taking control of lights at or near access to I to better coordinate the flow of traffic fleeing the Schuylkill Expressway.
State transportation officials also are giving money to local governments to fix traffic-light timing problems that plague many of them. On Monday, PennDot will begin accepting applications for its fifth round of annual grants to municipalities trying to make their traffic signals more efficient and to address a common complaint at municipal meetings: traffic congestion. By necessity, every municipality has to approach traffic issues differently.
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And money isn't the only solution; coordination is also key. Several municipal officials in the region cited the PennDot grants — which require a 20 percent municipal match — as the reason they are able to upgrade their traffic signals now, instead of waiting to scrape together the funds. In New Jersey, the owner of a roadway — whether the state, a county, or a municipality — is responsible for traffic signals on that road. Like other municipalities, Philadelphia uses national standards for determining how long green, yellow, and red lights should last based on factors such as speed limits, intersection crossing distances, road conditions, and whether vehicles are traveling uphill or downhill.
City officials enter vehicle and pedestrian data into its software, which tells them how long lights should be red, yellow, or green. The city started switching from electromechanical to computerized traffic signals in , said Richard Montanez, deputy commissioner of transportation for the city's Streets Department.
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About half of the city's nearly 3, signalized intersections are now computerized, which allows for better coordination. In a perfect world, Montanez said, every motorist would drive at or just below the speed limit. The city aims to time lights so that they would change to green as these drivers approach an intersection. But that doesn't account for drivers' varying speeds and pedestrians in or crossing the road. Find More Posts by Wavebourn. Every time I'm more confused, surely will be more easy to use an inductive choke. Eindtijd feb CET Although shipping costs are quite high.
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