New traffic signal system to save time on the road

Traffic light system

Some new technology could save you time on the road. It's a new traffic signal system that could be implemented into roads and intersections.

No one wants to spend their time waiting at a red light. It's that simple fact that is at the center of Ben Faust's presentation to the Regional Transportation Planning Organization.

Faust is with an engineering firm called DRMP.

The state's asked them to look at roads in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, to see if the area can benefit from something called an "advanced traffic management system."

Faust believes it can. "We're talking probably system wide 25% improvement in efficiency," he said.

That means minutes saved on your drive time.

Here's how the system works: The amount of traffic on certain roads changes throughout the day, but the programming of traffic lights, doesn't always take that into account. So the idea is to connect all traffric lights through a central command center that can monitor traffic and accidents and re-time lights at intersections as needed.

That's happening now at some intersections in town, though on a limited scale.

Faust said, "What we're looking at now is a full footprint, hopefully we'll touch all 362 signals in the region."

There is no timeline when or if that will happen. And it won't come cheap.

Aside from a traffic infrastructure overhaul, the system may need construction of a new command facility.

It's all priced at nearly $50 million, though there is a chance the state could foot the bill.

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