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Karla Damian
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Miami-Dade County to install 300 new smart traffic signals

MIAMI (July 28, 2017)

In August 2017, the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) will begin installing 300 adaptive traffic signals throughout the County to ease traffic flow and improve mobility.

Recently, the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a Resolution to award a contract to Econolite Control Products, Inc., to provide the 300 adaptive ‘smart’ signal traffic controllers, as well as the supporting hardware, software, and associated services required to expand the County’s traffic mobility management program.

"We have been testing this new technology for approximately one year now and have already seen impressive improvements in time-savings and traffic flow along NW 36th Street,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “We are constantly searching for new and innovative ways to alleviate congestion in our community, and I believe these smart signals are just one of many future solutions."

Since June 2016, DTPW has been testing adaptive signals along NW 36 Street, between 71st and 84th avenues, to see how traffic flow could improve along one of the County’s busiest corridors. Studies demonstrated a 10 percent reduction in travel time along the corridor.

“These new adaptive signals will add 300 more eyes that can constantly monitor traffic flow along some of the County’s most congested corridors. The signals can detect where traffic is becoming congested and continuously adjust their own timing to improve traffic flow and operate more efficiently,” said DTPW Director Alice N. Bravo, P.E.

Bravo explained the signals are equipped with cameras and are designed to monitor the intersections and reprogram their own timing to respond more quickly to changing traffic conditions.

Smart traffic controllers can detect when vehicles are backing up at a red light and can automatically change the signal’s timing to balance the throughput at the intersection; thus, keeping traffic flowing more smoothly.

The installation of the new signals is part of a larger five-year plan to improve mobility in Miami-Dade County. The new signal equipment also will give priority to Metrobuses that might be traveling in heavy traffic to improve reliability for transit services.

The signals will be installed along 10 corridors, which include:

  • NW 183rd Street – from Red Road to NW 79th Avenue
  • NW 163rd Street – from U.S.1 to NE 10th Avenue
  • Indian Creek Drive – between 63rd and 81st streets
  • Biscayne Boulevard – from NW 11th Terrace to NE 82nd Street
  • West Flagler Street – from Le Jeune Road to Milam Dairy Road
  • Le Jeune Road – between SW Eighth Street and NW 14th Street
  • SW 27th Avenue – between West Flagler and NW 20th streets
  • SW 88th Street – between U.S. 1 and Krome Avenue
  • U.S.1 – between SW 16th and SW 98th avenues
  • U.S. 1 – between SW 104th and 195th streets (including the South Dade Transitway)

Last summer, DTPW unveiled the modernized Traffic Management Center, where transportation engineers oversee new traffic monitoring cameras and are improving the synchronization of signals. They use information from mobile traffic apps, and other traffic speed data feed, to improve traffic flow. This process has already yielded mobility improvements.

For instance, along US-1, the daily congested hours have been reduced by 25 percent, and the northbound travel time from SW 152nd Street to SW 16th Avenue has also been reduced by an average of 10 minutes.

On the South Dade Transitway, where buses swiftly shuttle passengers along exclusive bus lanes, the County is upgrading 47 intersections with 2070LX traffic signal controllers. These controllers will give buses priority when crossing an intersection, allowing for a smoother, more seamless bus ride along the Transitway.