Technology that coordinates traffic signals at 17 Dover intersections is expected to reduce downtown congestion, city officials say.
“We’re excited about these new technologies,” said Dover’s Deputy Community Services Director Bill Boulanger, who is managing the project. “It’s going to allow us to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion, and make on-the-fly changes to respond to whatever is happening on our roads. We think it’s going to be a success, and drivers will see a noticeable difference.”
The $811,875 project is focused on the Central Avenue corridor, the city said in a news release.
At several intersections, old-fashioned “loop sensors” were replaced with bell cameras and other optical sensing devices.
“The loop sensors could only detect the presence of perhaps a single vehicle, but the advanced optical sensors will now be able to determine how far back cars are stacking up at an intersection,” the news release states.
The newly deployed technology includes new traffic signal controllers, vehicle and pedestrian detection equipment and travel time recording devices. It will allow the city to accurately count vehicles, including a breakdown of cars and trucks, and monitor how long vehicles are stopped at traffic lights, and travel times through the corridor.
The 17 intersections are part of four groups within the Central Avenue corridor: Week’s Crossing with four signals; five signals along northern Central Avenue from Morin Street to Oak Road; three signals along the Silver Street subsystem; and five signals at the Central Avenue/Durham Road subsystem, which Boulanger called the city’s most complex.
Boulanger said 28,000 cars pass through the quarter-mile subsystem that includes two Spaulding Turnpike off ramps, an emergency room and multiple schools within a short distance.
The upgrades also integrate the city’s central traffic management system with the state Department of Transportation’s. That will allow the DOT to deploy emergency signal changes to aid traffic flow along the corridor in the event of a significant traffic accident on the Spaulding Turnpike.
Over the next 12 months, staff from the city and its engineer partner, Sebago Technics, will monitor traffic data and put in place new traffic signal coordination programming throughout the intersections.
Drivers are being asked to provide feedback on traffic flow with a five-question poll, https://conta.cc/3pFYtQl.