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Upper Dublin, PA board plans smart traffic lights

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by Eric Devlin, Montgomery News

(excerpted)

In other news, new traffic signal cameras are coming to the area that may make the wait at the light a lot shorter.

The board awarded a contract for the installation of a traffic signal adaptive system known as InSync to Republic ITS for $214,204.50.

The contract calls for the installation of four cameras at intersections in Dresher.

Township Manager Paul Leonard said the following intersections will see the cameras installed: Virginia and Susquehanna Road, Dreshertown Road and South Limekiln Pike, Dreshertown and North Limekiln Pike and Limekiln Pike and Susquehanna.

The camera installations will be paid for by an Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) grant from PennDOT.

The board also approved the installation of a fifth camera at the corner of Virginia and Office Center drives. The original bid price for the installation was $38,700, but wiyj BET Investments and Wawa, scheduled to open at the corner, eaching donating $10,000 to implement the system, the total cost to the township will be $18,700.

Leonard said the project will install five smart traffic signals throughout the area to help move traffic more efficiently. The InSync system uses video cameras not to enforce traffic but to adapt to traffic conditions and adjust the lights accordingly. The cameras don’t take pictures of motorists trying to catch a light; they only work to reduce the wait time for cars at a red light.

Leonard said the installation will be a “dramatic improvement” because “motorists that use these traffic signals will pretty quickly figure out that the traffic signals are a little more on their side” because the signal will know how many cars are waiting and will adjust.

He said if the signals were to break, they would default to their original settings and people would notice the difference.

The software used in the InSync software is not just a time system. Instead, the camera actually counts each car waiting at the light and forwards the information to the next light ahead, allowing it to adjust before the cars even get there, to make sure all the cars keep moving.

“When a mechanical device is on your side, you know it. When it’s not, you really know it,” he said, noting studies have shown a 60 percent decrease in wait time when these devices are installed.

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