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Bellevue Beat | Bellevue is new frontier of smart adaptive traffic lights


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Who knew. "The frontier of adaptive traffic management may be in Bellevue," says transportation experts. Yes, Bellevue WA, you read it right. Currently, 174 of Bellevue's intersections have been outfitted with adaptive traffic signals that can adjust in real-time traffic conditions. By the end of the year, all 197 intersections in Bellevue will be outfitted with adaptive signals.

According to the Time magazine article, how this new technology works is it uses a series of wires embedded in city streets that tell the signals how much traffic is moving through the intersection. When traffic is heavier, the green lights stay on longer. Less traffic means shorter greens. During peak traffic periods, nearby intersections sync their lights to allow long stretches of green. When there are fewer cars on the road, those intersections revert to their own cycles.

City officials say that smart traffic lights have led to significant declines in both the hassle and cost of commuting. Travel times have decreased between 35% to 40% during peak rush hour from 2pm to 6pm since these lights were installed along Bellevue's two main arterial routes in Factoria and NE 8th Street.

Have you noticed a change in the timing cycle of these adaptive traffic signals around Bellevue? Share your comments on our Facebook page.

News of Bellevue's smart traffic lights traveled fast. Here's a TV feature from Vancouver, BC's Global News with Mark Poch, Traffic Engineering Manager for City of Bellevue.

Read the full Time magazine article: How Smart Traffic Lights Could Transform Your Commute.

Published: May 12, 2015


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