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18 Hill Traffic Signals In Line For Upgrades
by Allan Appel | Sep 20, 2012 12:13 pm
Posted to: Transportation, The Hill
A fire engine barreling towards this narrow intersection at Sylvan Avenue and Orchard Street may soon be able automatically to trigger a red light to change to green on approach and pass through more safely.
That new feature, technically known as emergency vehicle pre-emption, or EVP, is part of a $4 million modernization program at 18 city intersections that advanced at Tuesday’s City Plan Commission meeting.
By a unanimous vote and without discussion, commissioners authorized the mayor to tap into $4.2 million in federal money to modernize the city’s traffic control system at 18 intersections largely in the Hill and Downtown.
Using federal money available through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, the state has agreed to construct new poles, signal lights equipped with EVP, new crosswalks, and where needed handicap ramps.
While the city’s fire trucks are equipped with EVP, “preemption has been installed on major routes with all our new traffic signal installations,” wrote Transportation, Traffic & Parking Department Director Jim Travers in an email after the meeting.
The grant money will permit the EVP, along with other new equipment, to be installed at 18 older intersections.
“Basically, the traffic signal recognizes the approach of a fire truck and turns the traffic signal to green. This allows to clear any vehicles that may be queued at a red light and allows the fire truck through in the event of an emergency,” Travis reported.
The new signals will also include exclusive pedestrian walk phases.
The city operates about 300 traffic signals. Approximately 195 have had controllers replaced and approximately 100 have been completely rebuilt, said Travers.
The intersections to receive the new equipment include:
• Howard at Fifth, Kimberly, Spring, Washington, and Lamberton
• Chapel at Hamilton and Chestnut
• Hamilton at Ives
• Kimberly at Lamberton
• Winthrop at Sylvan
• Sylvan at Orchard
• Derby at Ella Grasso
• Hallock at Sargent
• East at Ives
• Cedar at Spring
• Congress at West
• Davenport at Winthrop and Asylum