London politicians voted decisively Tuesday to endorse an eagerly anticipated $4.4-million contract to begin work on a smarter traffic signal system to ease congestion.London politicians voted decisively Tuesday to endorse an eagerly anticipated $4.4-million contract to begin work on a smarter traffic signal system to ease congestion.
Civic works committee unanimously backed replacing the aging synchronized light system in London, work that could begin this year if full council gives the green light next week.
“The newer technology that’s available now will help us improve the traffic flow,” said Shane Maguire, city hall’s manager of roadway lighting and traffic control. “Our system . . . was very good for its time, but it has outlived its time.”
The current synchronization system – whose existence might come as a surprise to many Londoners – is 15 years old.
Micro-computers, called controllers, would be installed on all signals, along with closed-circuit cameras to help city hall monitor traffic in real time and adjust for collisions, weather, or other emergencies.
The equipment is expected to be deployed at all 404 signals across London by fall 2020.
“I’m excited to see this happening,” Ward 2 Coun. Shawn Lewis said.
He asked how much more it would cost to fully overhaul traffic controls in London and implement a smart system, a council pitched to senior governments and for which it won provincial and federal funding after carving up the bus rapid transit network.
City hall’s roads boss Doug MacRae described the initial work, covered by the $4.4-million contract, as the “brains behind the system.”
It will drive further upgrades, including the ability to make small traffic signal adjustments to prioritize transit buses, and move toward a self-regulating system that would monitor traffic and change signals automatically based on real-time data.
The rest of the “advanced transportation management system,” which will cost about $28 million in total, will include an updated control centre.
Source: The London Free Press