Innovative system to coordinate Crosstown traffic signals
PORT ST. LUCIE – Drivers on Crosstown Parkway should see improved traffic flow and fewer delays because of a new system that uses real-time data to coordinate traffic signals.
The City’s Public Works Department worked with consultant Rhythm Engineering to upgrade to the Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) on Crosstown Parkway that is expected to optimize traffic patterns along this corridor.
“With the completion and opening of the new Crosstown Parkway bridge, the City Council agreed this new signal coordination system should be a priority as we make every effort to keep traffic moving as efficiently as possible on this important corridor,” City Manager Russ Blackburn said.
The new system will utilize “adaptive signal control” at intersections from Fairgreen Road to and including Floresta Drive along Crosstown Parkway. This technology incorporates real-time traffic volumes into the signal coordination plans. It captures current traffic demand data and uses it to adjust signal timing for both the main corridor and side streets. A video about the new system can be found at: https://youtu.be/A4WoR1ya2DY.
Because this system works differently than a typical traffic signal, drivers can expect to see patterns that may not be familiar. For example, the system prioritizes east/west traffic on Crosstown Parkway over side street traffic. This could result in side street traffic waiting at a red light when it appears there is no opposing traffic. Staff will continue to monitor and adjust the system to continue to minimize side street wait times. Signal phasing may also be different than what motorists are expecting. For example, the left turn arrow may come up first or last or both and through traffic could get a green light at varying times during the signal phasing cycles or perhaps even twice. The system is operating as it should and is still “learning” the traffic flows in order to be as efficient as possible.
The same system was installed on St. Lucie West Boulevard in 2017. Studies in both 2018 and 2019 concluded the adaptive signal system effectively lowered travel time and delay within the study corridor overall during most of the year. The result of this improvement has also reduced the number of crashes, thus enhancing the safety and quality of life for the residents and visitors. Reduction in travel times and delays also have the benefit of reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
The Crosstown adaptive signal equipment, which cost about $800,000, originally was not planned to be installed until 2028 and paid for with half-cent sales tax revenue. However, the City Council approved moving up the project timetable following the construction of the Crosstown bridge using funding from the Crosstown Parkway Extension Project.