Rhythm Engineering News

Rhythm Engineering Gets the Green Light for the Kansas City Streetcar Traffic Signal Project

Kansas City, MO: Rhythm Engineering, LLC is proud to announce that it has won the contract for the upgrade of the traffic signal control system to be installed along the Kansas City Streetcar corridor in mid-2015. The Kansas City Streetcar project, known as KC Streetcar, is a two-mile line that runs through downtown Kansas City, largely on Main Street, and connects River Market on the north to Crown Center and Union Station on the south.

Since the new streetcar system will run on existing street lanes in the middle of the Central Business District, Crossroads Art District and the Power and Light District, traffic signal synchronization is crucial for alleviating any potential traffic congestion that may arise. Rhythm Engineering offers the perfect solution, using its newly developed adaptive technology, In|Sync®, which integrates signal timing, traffic volumes, and computerized real-time tracking. Their system, once installed, will control 21 signals along this streetcar corridor.

According to Reggie Chandra, PE, CEO of Rhythm Engineering, “We are honored to have this opportunity to make a difference in our own home community. Kansas City has proven that it is very serious in its intention to become a truly “smart” city and we are glad to be part of the initiative. Rhythm Engineering always has been proud to be called a Kansas City company as we make a difference to motorists in 31 states and 128 cities.”

These modifications will be installed by Rhythm’s traffic technicians and optimized by traffic engineers to ensure that the streetcar can move safely and efficiently alongside car and bus traffic. Rhythm Engineering joins other subcontractors, including Cisco, Comanche Construction, Reynolds Electric, Trekk Design, and others, under the direction of the project team led by KC Streetcar Constructors, a joint venture partnership of Herzog Contracting Corp. of St. Joseph, Missouri, and Stacy and Witbeck, Inc. of Alameda, California.

About Rhythm Engineering:

Rhythm Engineering empowers traffic engineers to save lives, save time, and save the environment through cost-effective, innovative traffic solutions. Its flagship product, In|Sync™, is a real-time adaptive traffic control system that enables traffic signals to immediately adapt to traffic demand, reducing accidents up to 30 percent, cutting travel times up to 50 percent and reducing fuel consumption and emissions 20-30 percent. In|Sync is chosen for installation at more than 1865 intersections in 128 cities in 31 states, creating better, safer traffic for American motorists.

Learn more at www.rhythmtraffic.com

 

About KC Streetcar Project:

The Downtown Kansas City, Missouri Streetcar project is a two-mile route running primarily along Main Street connecting Kansas City’s River Market area to Crown Center and Union Station. It will serve Union Station, the Cross Roads Art District, the Power and Light District, the city’s central business district, and the historic River Market along with numerous other businesses, restaurants, art galleries, educational facilities, and neighborhoods. The starter line has 16 stops spaced every two blocks and includes the Singleton Yard Facility (Vehicle Maintenance Facility) located in Columbus Park.

Learn more at www.kcstreetcar.org

 

To learn more about this project, please contact:

Jesse Manning, VP Sales & Marketing, Rhythm Engineering
11228 Thompson Ave.
Lenexa KS, 66219
P: 912.227.0603
E: jesse.manning@rhythmtraffic.com

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Rhythm EngineeringRhythm Engineering Gets the Green Light for the Kansas City Streetcar Traffic Signal Project
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Columbia County, GA Engineers use Adaptive Traffic Signal System from Rhythm Engineering

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Columbia County, GA (Augusta) Engineers use adaptive traffic signal system from Rhythm Engineering to ease traffic congestion. Read more here and watch the video:View the Video

 

Read the Article:

The Augusta Chronicle

Rhythm EngineeringColumbia County, GA Engineers use Adaptive Traffic Signal System from Rhythm Engineering
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Rhythm Engineering ranks #19 on 2015 Fastest Growing Area Businesses List

Not only is Rhythm Engineering helping with the KC streetcar project, we have been ranked #19 on the 2015 Fastest Growing Area Businesses List (as rated by Kansas City Business Journal). Read the article and interview with CEO, Reggie Chandra, PhD, PE.

 

Read the Article:

KC Business Journal

Rhythm EngineeringRhythm Engineering ranks #19 on 2015 Fastest Growing Area Businesses List
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7 Traffic Signal Myths Debunked

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Have you ever wondered how we process traffic signal information? It all starts with our early driving experiences and actually, over time, we learn to automatically block out traffic signals during our daily commute. That is, we block out the signals until we get caught at lengthy, numerous red lights over a relatively short distance. At that time, our focus then turns to the nuisance they cause – long delays to our final destination, road rage, and misconceived notions about the benefits of traffic signals (or lack thereof).

Click here to read about Oscar’s story.

In reality, the purpose of traffic signals is to solve traffic conflicts. We all want to be in the same place at the same time, but this would only lead to accidents, severe traffic jams, and ultimately, chaos.

To help you and those motorists out there, there are a number of preconceived ideas about traffic control that are absolutely incorrect and lead to frustration and unnecessary stress. I’d like to share the 7 myths that motorists actually believe about stoplights and other traffic signals.

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Myth #1: The Flasher. If you flash your car’s high beams at a stoplight, it will turn from red to green more quickly.

Reality: Traffic light sensors do not detect headlights; they use other means to detect traffic at a light. Emergency light sensors read encoded and proprietary infrared signals from special emitters installed in emergency vehicles.

Myth #2: The Pusher. If you push the pedestrian crossing button multiple times or in a set pattern, you can trigger a green light faster.

Reality: While many of us are guilty of pushing the cross button over and over, it has no impact on how quickly the signal changes. When you push the button, the event gets recorded in the memory of the traffic signal controller (just as if you push an elevator button). This signal is then used to time the light change, nothing more.

Myth #3: The Weight-Builder. The amount of weight present at an intersection triggers a green light.

Reality: The weight of a vehicle has nothing to do with triggering a green light indication. Vehicle presence is detected by inductive loop technology, which works on the principle of electromagnetic induction, and all that is necessary is a vehicle having sufficient iron in the metal for detection and stopping over the inductive loop which signals the traffic controller that there is traffic waiting at the intersection.

The only vehicles potentially affected may be motorcycles or mopeds, but this can be overcome by drivers pulling near the corner of the lane near the stop bar painted at the intersection.

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Myth #4: The Unseen. Traffic lights are changed by tripping an invisible curtain that covers only a section of the lane.

Reality: Vehicles trigger the inductive loop (see Myth #3), and as long as they have sufficient metal and stop in the right spot – just before the stop bar, the thick white line painted on the pavement that signals to motorists where they should stop in order to be effectively detected by the traffic controller.

Stop too far past or before the bar and the pavement sensors can’t detect your presence. As a result, motorists who do not stop at the stop bar generally end up waiting longer at intersections!

In order to be detected, motorcycles and bicycles also must stop before the stop bar. The in-pavement detectors are most sensitive at the corners. So, motorcycles have a better chance of being detected if they stop at the corner of the lane just behind the stop bar too.

Myth #5: Remote Controlling. You can turn the stoplight green through the use of a universal television remote.

Reality: You cannot program a remote with a special code in order to change traffic signals. This myth stems from an Internet spoof and holds no truth. Sensors associated with preemption systems are programmed to only detect certain infra-red signals from emergency vehicles and cannot be fooled or tricked into activating a green light for passenger vehicles; and for good reason.

Imagine the chaos if every impatient driver with access to a Radio Shack, took it upon himself to direct traffic according to his whims!

Myth #6: Big Brother Is Stopping You: Governments or cities purposely implement policies that do not allow traffic to efficiently flow through intersections.

Reality: Most traffic lights are poorly timed and inefficient because transportation agencies don’t have the personnel or financial resources to update their timing plans or implement newer traffic technologies that could reduce delay at intersections. Without experienced personnel or money for updates and improvements, cities are unable to improve the efficiency of their traffic control systems and motorists, by default, are stuck wasting time and fuel at red lights.

Myth #7: The Safety Patrol. Traffic signals always reduce collisions.

Reality: The key word here is “always”. Traffic signals do help prevent collisions, but since only 40% of collisions occur at intersections, and drivers often get into accidents by trying to beat a red light or disobeying traffic rules, the truth is that poorly timed signals will not eliminate human actions, and therefore, will not eliminate all accidents.

Nevertheless, optimizing traffic signals to mitigate traffic conflicts is in the best interest of everyone. Coordinating traffic signals can reduce driver frustration, cut down on the number of cars running red lights, and decrease the number of traffic accidents occurring at our intersections.

Bottom line:
Motorists form their own opinions based on urban myths about traffic signals and controls. Our job, as traffic experts, is to minimize the number of traffic aggravations experienced by motorists.

The ultimate goal is signal optimization for each and every thoroughfare – this can be accomplished through synchronized traffic signals, vehicle detection systems, and communication between intersections. Learn more about the latest technology used for traffic control at www.rhythmtraffic.com

Rhythm Engineering7 Traffic Signal Myths Debunked
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Infrastructure Australia recommends In|Sync®

We recently came across a study published by Infrastructure Australia comparing Scats to In|Sync.

“…the report will examine and review the SCATS system against Rhythm Engineering’s In|Sync, an emerging controller in the field.” 

We are proud to say that In|Sync did well: 

“Analysis of the discussed ATCS technologies has identified areas of possible improvement to the existing SCATS infrastructure in Sydney. The In|Sync technology is both relatively cheap to implement and has proven to be an effective traffic controller. It is therefore recommended that, following identification of congested channels using floating car data, In|Sync control configurations and IP cameras be integrated into existing infrastructure to ease congestion. Using this technology, Green Wave ideology can be adopted to optimise traffic flows. Furthermore, utilisation of In|Sync technology allows for future accommodation of priority traffic signals such as those currently employed in Japan.”

You can find the entire paper here.

Rhythm EngineeringInfrastructure Australia recommends In|Sync®
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Green Means Go: Why Drivers Are Seeing Fewer Red Lights in the Wexford Flats

by Jessica Sinichak, Pine-Richland, PA Patch

Have you noticed more green lights on Perry Highway lately? It’s not just because it’s your lucky day.

If you’ve noticed improved traffic flow lately in the Wexford Flats area of Perry Highway in Pine, it’s not an accident.

In mid-June, PennDOT added InSync, an adaptive traffic control system, to eight signals between Longvue Road, near the top of Pine Creek Hill, and North Chapel/Manor Road.

The 2.33 mile-project spans Pine and McCandless townships.

Scott Anderson, Pine’s assistant manager, said the new software adds green lights based on the number of cars waiting to move forward at traffic signals on Route 19 and on the side streets.

“It connects all the lights in the Wexford Flats project,” he said. “It tries to give as many green lights as it can on the Route 19 corridor.”

Anderson said each traffic signal has a camera installed that counts the number of cars waiting at an intersection.

He added the traffic cameras would not be used to monitor motorists who run red lights, as cameras do on the eastern side of the state. For example, in Philadelphia, police are able to issue $100 traffic violation tickets to offenders caught on camera.

That won’t be the case in Wexford.

“They’re sort of facing the wrong way, anyway,” Anderson said of the cameras. “They’ll be looking at the front of the cars to count them.”

Anderson said he has received some positive comments about improved traffic flow from drivers on Route 19 since the control system was installed.

He himself also has noticed a change. On one afternoon, he passed through the entire Wexford Flats area without stopping for a red light.

“That has never happened before,” he said.

Although InSync has installed the adaptive traffic control systems in numerous locations across the country, Anderson said this is the first time the software has been used in western Pennsylvania.

According to the InSync statistics, communities using the control system may save up to $8 million in wasted time and fuel, 27 tanker trucks of gasoline, 33 years of wasted time and millions of pounds in air pollution.

The software was installed as part of the $18.1 Wexford Flats project, which began in January of 2011 and is just finishing up this summer.

In addition to the improved traffic signals, the project also widened Route 19 from 42 feet to 63 feet, added a center turn lane, curbed gutters and sidewalks.

About 28,000 vehicles use this section of Route 19 on an average day, according to PennDOT.

Rhythm EngineeringGreen Means Go: Why Drivers Are Seeing Fewer Red Lights in the Wexford Flats
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New Wards Road Traffic System Speeds Drivers Along

by Alicia Petska, The News & Advance

Things are moving a little faster on Wards Road thanks to an assist from an experimental new state program.

The city, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation, has installed a new traffic light synchronization system along a roughly 4-mile stretch of Wards Road.

The system is more sophisticated than any used in Lynchburg before.

Not only does it coordinate the timing of the lights, it enables them to communicate and work together to push through traffic — even as conditions on the road change.

“There is literally a computer at every intersection that talks, in a daisy chain, to the other intersections,” said city traffic engineer Don Deberry.

“So instead of setting a clock at each intersection, you have a brain at each intersection that watches the traffic.”

When cars start queuing up at one of the new lights, it not only sees them and turns green, it also tells the other lights to get ready.

Several times an hour, it’s possible a driver could barrel down the entire corridor without hitting a red light.

City studies indicate the system is shaving two minutes off the average drive time on Wards Road.

The new system was paid for primarily by VDOT through a statewide pilot program. VDOT has been installing these systems in se-lect communities to test out their effectiveness.

In Lynchburg, the system was installed at 11 traffic lights between River Ridge mall and English Tavern Road out in Campbell County, past Lynchburg Regional Airport.

VDOT paid for 10 lights. The city paid for another to include the intersection at the mall. The cost to the city was about $30,000.

VDOT spokeswoman Paula Jones said the entire system, including installation, cost about $500,000.

Jones said the system has been in place since March, and she was aware of only two others in Virginia that use something similar: in the Fredericksburg and Hampton Roads areas.

Early tests showed it was cutting commute time on that stretch by just more than 20 percent and slashing the amount of time drivers are stuck at stoplights by 57 percent.

City Councilman Turner Perrow, chair of council’s physical development committee, said he’s noticed in his own travels that Wards Road is flowing much better these days.

“It’s remarkable,” he said. “It shows you how technology can improve traffic flow.”

The faster drive may take some getting used to for residents. Perrow said he recently heard from a constitutent who was ticketed for driving 50 miles per hour on the 35-mile-per-hour street.

“His defense was, ‘It’s Wards Road,’” Perrow said. “‘How could I possibly have been going 50 miles per hour at 3 o’ clock in the afternoon?’”

DeBerry said he’s been pleased with the results so far but noted the system isn’t infallible.

During “very intensive travel times,” for example the holiday shopping season, DeBerry said the system may lead to extended wait times for drivers on the side streets along Wards Road.

“There are probably going to be some complaints,” he said. “From Thanksgiving to Christmas, it will be interesting to see how it works.”

Since the system went live in April, DeBerry said public response has been generally positive. Some people, unaware of the changeover, have called to report the lights are broken because they stayed green a suspiciously long time.

Traffic studies have shown a rise in the average car’s speed, DeBerry said, but it is still within the speed limit.

The city tried a traditional light coordination system on Wards Road once before, but found it didn’t work.

A traditional system synchronizes the timing of the lights according to a preprogrammed schedule, but it can’t respond to changing conditions or seasons.

The downside of the high-tech system on Wards Road is it’s pricey and not affordable for most roads.

But if the Wards Road pilot continues to work well, DeBerry said, the city might be interested in adding the system to other high-traffic corridors when feasible.

More effective traffic coordination not only saves drivers time, DeBerry said, it also saves them fuel and money.

“It’s a big, positive impact,” he said.

Staff writer Dave Thompson contributed.

Rhythm EngineeringNew Wards Road Traffic System Speeds Drivers Along
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Real-Time Traffic Signals Expected Within a Year on Carlisle Pike, Route 22

by Tricia Kline, PennLive

A new traffic signal technology project aimed at reducing traffic congestion along the Carlisle Pike in Cumberland County, and Route 22 in Dauphin County, could have vehicles rolling faster on the major thoroughfares by late spring or summer 2014.

It also could have vehicles on side streets waiting even longer at red lights.

The $2.2 million project has been proposed by Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Engineering District 8 — which also will 100 percent fund and install the new “adaptive traffic signal control” technology.

The new signal control uses real-time traffic information to determine when lights should be red and when they should be green, making the movement of vehicles as smooth as possible.

Eight municipalities to be affected by the new project have been asked to approve it.

In Cumberland County, the involved municipalities are Camp Hill Borough, Silver Spring, Hampden and East Pennsboro townships — a total of 6.4 miles and 27 traffic signals. In Dauphin County, the City of Harrisburg, Penbrook Borough, and Lower Paxton and Susquehanna townships are involved — a total of 6.6 miles and 26 traffic signals.

All have given their consent except for East Pennsboro Township; supervisors are scheduled to vote during their public meeting in July.

Bids for the construction work are scheduled to be opened Aug. 15, and work will likely begin late this winter or early spring.

Greg Penny, community relations coordinator for PennDOT District 8, said it is possible, once the technology is rolling, that drivers approaching an intersection from side roads “may or may not notice a delay.”

While the priority of the system is to better move the mainline traffic, if mainline traffic is heavy, “motorists entering from the side roads may have to wait a little longer to get a green light to enter the intersection,” Penny said.

“We don’t expect a noticeable delay, but it’s possible,” he said.

Drivers also need to be aware that the normal signal sequence will change.

“Drivers may not be able to anticipate the green light as they may have before, because the system will detect a need to clear another leg of the intersection,” Penny said.

PennDOT will take care of any maintenance costs and work on the system for the first five years. After that, each municipality has been asked to pay $750 per intersection per year for parts and technical support, or $250 per intersection per year for just technical support. They also might choose to not pay for either, and instead pay for repairs or technical support as needed.

Camp Hill Borough Council last month approved the project, but expressed concerns including future maintenance costs and asked PennDOT to do all it could to assure them of several requests, including the retention of pedestrian cycles at intersections, that special attention be given to the Routes 11/15 and North 21st Street intersection, and an adequate supply of replacement equipment be supplied.

In Carlisle, officials sought out the software and hardware for the adaptive signal technology two years ago to help reduce vehicle speeds in downtown, along the High and Hanover street corridors.

Prior to installation, there were four lanes of traffic on those streets, two in each direction. Now, there is one travel lane, with dedicated turn lanes.

Michael Keiser, Carlisle public works director, said the technology has increased safety, as cars are forced to travel at slower speeds.

“It’s slower and calmer under this configuration,” he said, adding that there were people who hated it in the beginning. But those who supported less noise and less traffic loved it.

He did say that the technology does require drivers to wait longer at traffic lights during peak travel times.

 

Rhythm EngineeringReal-Time Traffic Signals Expected Within a Year on Carlisle Pike, Route 22
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Installation Begins on New “Adaptive” Traffic Signals on Republic

by Edited News Release, Missouri Dept. of Transportation, Ozarks First

Updated: June 17, 2013

REPUBLIC, Mo. — Work began Monday on a new type of synchronization system to the traffic signals along Route 60/413 through Republic.

MoDOT says the new system is designed to adapt to traffic conditions, and will provide the most benefit to side streets and left-turn lanes (with left arrows only) during non-peak traffic times, mostly during the middle of the day on weekdays and at night and on weekends.

The six traffic signals between Greene County Route P/Main Street on the west and Oakwood Street on the east will be upgraded to the new Adaptive Traffic Signal System.

A similar system is in operation along two major state-maintained streets in Joplin — Range Line Road (Bus. Loop 49) and a portion of 7th Street (Missouri Route 66).

Starting June 17, drivers can expect nighttime lane closings on Route 60/413. Crews also will be working at the traffic signal control cabinets at the signalized intersections.

The new system, installed by Rhythm Engineering of Lenexa, Kansas, should be in full operation during the week of July 8. The project’s price tag is about $250,000.

 

 

Rhythm EngineeringInstallation Begins on New “Adaptive” Traffic Signals on Republic
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City, Albemarle to Cooperate on Traffic Signals Along U.S. 29

by Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow

The Charlottesville City Council has decided to spend up to $450,000 on a joint project with Albemarle County to coordinate traffic signals on U.S. 29 using technology that adjusts signals depending on real-time conditions.

Councilors Dave Norris and Dede Smith both voted against the project late Monday night over concerns about the cost and timing of the request.

“It feels like it came out of nowhere,” Smith said. “Why hasn’t the county come forward before?”

Albemarle officials are in talks with the Virginia Department of Transportation to purchase InSync software and hardware from Rhythm Engineering to enhance the already coordinated traffic signals from Hydraulic Road to Airport Road on U.S. 29, as well as side streets. Charlottesville now will include Emmet Street signals in the project.

Rhythm officials estimate the cost to place the system at each intersection at about $30,000, plus an additional $5,000 for installation and communications equipment. An exact number of intersections has not yet been determined.

The city’s cost estimate covers at least 13 intersections.

Rhythm Engineering officials claim their system can decrease travel time by up to 50 percent and crashes by up to 30 percent, said Jim Tolbert, the city’s director of Neighborhood Development Services.

“This uses [cameras and software] … to try to make sure that signals are coordinated so people who are coming from side streets are entering and getting a green light at a natural gap rather than making everyone stop and let them out,” said Councilor Kristin Szakos.

Szakos said the matter has come up in the past year at meetings of the Planning and Coordination Council and the Metropolitan Planning Organization. The City Council also had a brief discussion about the technology at its June 3 meeting following a briefing given by Rhythm officials to city staff and Mayor Satyendra Huja.

“There was interest expressed in our coordination of Emmet Street from Ivy to Hydraulic, and if U.S. 29 north is going to be better coordinated, that we coordinate the entire stretch,” Tolbert said.

Tolbert called the $450,000 price tag a “very rough estimate” based on Rhythm’s baseline prices.

“We feel like, if anything, it is a little high and we may save some of that,” he said.

The county’s portion of the project is being partly covered under VDOT’s revenue-sharing program. Albemarle secured $360,000 from the program and made an equivalent match to install the system from Hydraulic Road to Airport Road.

Tolbert said the city also could apply for VDOT revenue-sharing funds to pay for the project, but a decision on the next round of allocations likely will not be made for another 18 months.

The city still would have pay for half of the project.

An average of 51,000 vehicles passed daily through the intersection of Emmet Street and the U.S. 250 Bypass in 2011, according to VDOT traffic counts.

“Everybody, city and county residents, uses that road,” said Councilor Kathy Galvin. “The jurisdictions are an arbitrary thing.” The city money will come from the capital improvement program’s contingency fund. Norris expressed concerns that taking money from that source would prevent other projects from being funded if they come up in the next year.

“I believe the fund is sufficient to cover what would normally come up in a given year,” said Aubrey Watts, the city’s chief operating officer, who sat in for City Manager Maurice Jones at Monday’s meeting.

Smith said the city always could add on to the county’s system later and there are other places,  such as McIntire Road or Preston Avenue, where the software could be used.

Szakos said the city could use revenue-sharing funds to pay for those projects if the InSync system works as advertised.

Rhythm EngineeringCity, Albemarle to Cooperate on Traffic Signals Along U.S. 29
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