Sugar Land City Council recently approved more than $846,000 to expand existing adaptive signal control and wireless vehicle detection at intersections throughout Sugar Land.
The project is part of an ongoing effort to improve mobility along major thoroughfares through Sugar Land, including State Highway 6, U.S. Highway 90A and University Boulevard.
The technology enables traffic engineers at the state-of-the-art Sugar Land Traffic Management Center to capture real-time traffic data at signalized intersections and automatically optimize traffic signal timing cycles at identified intersections in an effort to increase traffic flow through the city based on current traffic conditions. The data, which measures current traffic conditions, is used by adaptive software to continuously optimize traffic signal timings in an effort to increase traffic flow (or decrease travel times) on some of the city’s busiest roadways.
The project builds on past efforts and provides a foundation for future traffic initiatives identified in Sugar Land’s Intelligent Transportation System Operations Plan.
Wireless detection devices called pods are installed in the pavement at intersections to measure traffic volumes and allow adaptive signal control equipment to make real time adjustment to traffic signals based on traffic demand.
“The data being collected is building the foundation for a more reliable and smarter data-driven Intelligent Transportation System,” said Director of Public Works Robert Valenzuela. “This ongoing project builds on two previous projects. We plan to expand the technology to another 25 major intersections along two more corridors and install 590 more pods to help improve detection reliability, traffic operations and help plan and design a better traffic network.”
Sugar Land updates the Intelligent Transportation System Operations Plan every four to five years to identify opportunities to improve mobility. The 2014 plan outlined a four-year capital improvement program and subsequent projects for each fiscal year starting in fiscal year 2015.
Since the inception of the capital program, completed projects have included:
- improved traffic signal detection;
- added essential traffic data gathering capabilities;
- upgraded school beacon system;
- improved ITS website at www.sugarlandtx.gov/its to help motorists with travel information;
- signal timing optimization of major corridors within the city;
- upgraded traffic controllers with latest hardware/software; and
- implemented adaptive signal control on State Highway 6.
“All these projects have brought benefits such as improved travel times on major corridors, real-time/historic traffic data which assists staff in making operation decisions, better sharing of traffic information to motorists and a more reliable/self-reporting school beacon system,” explained Valenzuela.
For more information, visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/1131/Traffic-Management-Systems.