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Fort Collins smooths traffic flows with signal optimisation system

A 45-per cent population growth in the last several decades has helped increase the vehicle traffic counts to more than 75,000 vehicles per day at some of its busiest intersections.

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The system helps Fort Collins deal with its complex and dynamic traffic challenges
The system helps Fort Collins deal with its complex and dynamic traffic challenges

The Colorado city of Fort Collins has implemented a cloud-based system to help optimise traffic signal timing in the city.

 

The Centracs SPM (signal performance measures) solution from Econolite is helping it to pinpoint patterns and better manage traffic conditions in real-time.

 

Smoother traffic flows

 

Centracs SPM is a cloud-based high-resolution traffic data collection and analytics platform designed to enable cities to proactively sync traffic signal timing to maintain a smoother flow of traffic throughout their corridors.

 

A 45-per cent population growth in the last several decades that has helped increase the vehicle traffic counts to more than 75,000 vehicles per day at some of its busiest intersections, Fort Collins experiences highly dynamic urban-level traffic conditions, including large swings in pedestrian traffic volumes.

 

“With a university, a vibrant downtown, and a growing population, Fort Collins deals with complex and dynamic traffic challenges,” said Joe Olson, Fort Collins’ traffic engineer.

“It allows us to better calibrate signal timing and, more importantly, make timing adjustments that account for changes in traffic that might not otherwise be noticed”

He continued: “We have traditionally used offline traffic models using very limited traffic data to develop signal timing plans. The model development and calibration process are time-consuming and can be fraught with opportunities for mistakes without rich data.

 

“Often, final signal timing happens in the field while trying to figure out why things aren’t working as planned.”

 

With the drastic traffic reduction due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Fort Collins Traffic Operations Department has been able to use the opportunity to verify Centracs SPM’s enhanced signal optimisation accuracy to be better prepared when traffic conditions return to normal.

 

“The Centracs SPM system allows us to use much more robust data in near real-time,” added Olson. “It allows us to better calibrate signal timing and, more importantly, make timing adjustments that account for changes in traffic that might not otherwise be noticed. This makes Centracs SPM worth the investment.”

 

The Centracs SPM solution is based on advanced optimisation algorithms leveraging the Purdue Link Pivot analysis with Red and Green Occupancy Ratio.

 

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