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Studies show smart signals are yielding travel time savings for Miami-Dade County drivers

MIAMI ( May 07, 2019 )

Drivers traveling along some of the Miami-Dade County’s busiest roads are saving time on their daily commute thanks to new adaptive "smart" traffic signals the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) recently installed along these corridors.

“The improvements are significant. Three corridors showed approximately a 10 percent travel time savings,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “The other two corridors also yielded travel time savings. This means that the recently installed smart signals are helping drivers spend less time behind the wheel during their daily commute throughout the County.”

These are the time-savings results for the following corridors with adaptive-signal technology:

SW 27th Avenue - from Bayshore Drive to Tamiami Trail (10.13 percent).
Le Jeune Road - from Tamiami Trail to Bird Road (9.52 percent).
NW 41st Street - from Ronald Reagan Turnpike to Galloway Road (9.15 percent).
NW 163rd Street - from NE 19 Avenue to NW 2 Avenue (7.38 percent).
Flagler Street - from Le Jeune Road to Milam Dairy Road (3.48 percent).

Also, studies along the NW 36 Street corridor, conducted in 2016 when the first smart signals were installed, demonstrated a 10 percent reduction in travel time along the corridor that runs from 71 Avenue to 84 Avenue. A comparison study along Kendall Drive is currently underway and is expected to be completed this June.
Smart signals work by rapidly adjusting signal timing according to traffic conditions and speeds. As traffic volumes increase and travel speeds decrease, smart signals will make adjustments to maximize the number of vehicles getting through the intersection while synchronizing with other signals along a corridor to augment the number of green lights drivers experience.

“We have installed 284 smart signals as part of a larger five-year, $11 million Traffic Signal System Modernization Project to improve mobility along the County’s ten busiest corridors. We are conducting before and after studies and the results are showing travel time savings for drivers on these corridors,” said DTPW Director Alice N. Bravo, P.E. “Moving forward, we are working on an additional $160 million project to upgrade the rest of the County’s traffic signal system which has approximately 3,000 signalized intersections. Improvements will include smart signals and Transit Signal Priority (TSP).”

TSP is an advanced signalization system that provides Metrobuses equipped with real-time tracking technology priority passage through intersections to improve their on-time service. In other words, TSP extends green light time or shortens red light time of a signal equipped with this technology. TSP has been activated on three routes: 39 Express, 34 Express and 288/ Kendall Cruiser. TSP is already providing an approximate 25 percent travel time savings for Bus Route 34 and 10 percent for Route 39, both running on the South Dade TransitWay, a 20-mile long corridor from the SW 344 Street Park and Ride in Florida City to the Dadeland South Metrorail Station.

System optimization to maximize the results of the adaptive technology is an ongoing effort. Miami-Dade County Staff is currently coordinating with the Florida Department of Transportation to have access to a more robust data collection tool from the Regional Integrated Traffic Information System (RITIS). The tool allows the user to rank multiple arterial segments, including side streets, to determine how segments compare to each other during a particular time period. As staff learns the system's capabilities, tweaks are made to optimize traffic flow.

The 10 County corridors where smart signals have been installed are:

NW 36 Street – from NW 71 Avenue and NW 84 Avenue.
Miami Gardens Drive (NW 183rd Street) – from Bobolink Drive to NW 87 Avenue.
NW 163rd Street – from NE 19 Avenue to NW 2 Avenue. 
Indian Creek Drive – from 63 Street to 88 Street. 
Biscayne Boulevard – from NE 11 Street to NE 82 Street. 
West Flagler Street – from 43 Avenue to Milam Dairy Road. 
Le Jeune Road – from Anastasia Avenue to Minorca Avenue. 
SW 27th Avenue – from Bayshore Drive to SW 16 Street. 
SW 88th Street (Kendall Dr.) – from SW 112 Avenue to SW 172 Avenue. 
U.S. 1 – from SW 16 Avenue and SW 98 Street.
U.S. 1 – from SW 104 Street and SW 344 street (including the South Dade TransitWay between Florida City and the Dadeland South Metrorail station).

To learn more about these and other DTPW projects, visit DTPW’s website.