City upgrading traffic management system - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

City upgrading traffic management system

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Lubbock's traffic management system is about to get a major upgrade beginning after the New Year.

Public Works Director Marsha Reed says the $4.7 million dollar bond project will likely take two years, but ultimately will provide safer roads with a better traffic flow.

"Our system currently is way past its age," Reed said.

New software, computer systems, and other parts of the project will give traffic engineers better communication to traffic signals.

Reed says the new system can improve traffic in several ways.

"If there's a collision, if we have a hazardous spill, timing, anything that involves signal system in traffic flow," she said.

New fiber lines will need to be installed in several areas across the city. Reed says the bids for those projects are about to go out.

She says the software will also play a key role in the improvements.

"They can download new traffic plans to the signal in the field or several signals and get traffic moving faster," she said.

Reed says the city will add cameras that can see major roads inside the city. Currently, camera systems are only being used on Loop 289.

Having a bird's eye view will be especially important during accidents.

"We won't have to rely so much on policeman out there keeping traffic back as we're watching those kinds of things we can watch that and assist them," said Reed.

Right now the traffic signals run on three plans. According to Reed, plans are the timing sequences used to direct traffic signals.

Reed says morning peak plans run between 7:00 and 8:30. Evening peak plans are between 4:00 and 6:00. The rest of the time our signals run at on off peak schedule.

Reed says current software can only handle three plans, but the new system can do much more.

"Our hope is that you can make several signals and still keep within the flow," she said.

Drivers could have a lot to look forward to as the project kicks off, but for those expecting to never wait at a red light, don't get your hopes up.

"People will never be able to go six miles across town on green unless they're very lucky," Reed joked.

Reed says construction to add the fiber should begin after the first of the year.

Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11

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