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‘Smart’ Traffic Signals May Ease Traffic Backups

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Two miles north in Lyndhurst, where traffic grinds to a halt at Orient Way and Page Avenue before being funneled onto Schuyler Avenue, the thought of improved traffic is welcome news.

“It should help some,” said Lyndhurst Mayor Richard Giangeruso. “There’s no traffic light and traffic builds up.”

Several years ago, Lyndhurst officials voiced objections to Meadow Crossing, a massive residential complex now under construction on the corner, because of traffic concerns. Plans were downsized from a 374-unit proposal to a 296-unit project.

Part of a $10 million federal grant awarded in 2010, the 128 traffic signals in the 14-town region will make commutes more bearable along Routes 1 and 9, 7, 17, 120 and other roadways, local officials say.

“It’s got economic and environmental benefits,” said Brian Aberback, a spokesman for the regional agency.

“When cars flow more freely and trucks are moving, it makes commerce more efficient.”

Aside from relieving congestion, transportation experts say that fine-tuning traffic controls reduces air pollution, cuts accidents at intersections and saves five tanks of gas annually per household, according to the National Transportation Operations Coalition, an alliance of federal, state and local traffic departments.

Similar regionalized traffic management systems are already running in Seattle, Milwaukee, Denver, Miami-Dade County and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area with positive results, traffic expert say.

In Delaware, where more than 700 “smart” traffic lights have been installed to ease traffic in and around Wilmington and reduce summer drives to the beach, police use its cameras to monitor accident scenes and help reroute traffic, officials said.

In the Meadowlands, where a state-of-the-art control center will be set up at the agency’s headquarters in Lyndhurst, the state Department of Transportation will give it authority to regulate traffic signals in the region.

This month, the Meadowlands Commission will award bids for Phase III of the project, which will include Rutherford, East Rutherford, Moonachie, Teterboro and a section of Route 17, Liebgold said.

A segment to come later, Phase IV, includes North Bergen and Ridgefield, along with sections of Routes 1 and 9.

In Secaucus, where adaptive traffic signals have been installed throughout the town, officials look forward to alleviating the snares that stall traffic on Paterson Plank Road to and from Route 3.

With the lighting system’s target date just a month before the region hosts the Super Bowl in February 2014, locals say they’re ready.

“Hopefully, the smart technology can help,” David Drummeler, the town administrator said about traffic.

“The mayor and council look forward to flipping the switch.”

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Posted by FanSite on Nov 1st, 2012 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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