FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The ebb and flow of traffic just doesn’t on six streets in Broward because there are just too many cars and not enough road.
To help alleviate some of the daily traffic jams, Broward plans to bring in two more engineers dedicated to working on all traffic-saturated roads, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
The six roads that are so packed that the timing of the street lights seems useless have been identified as Sunrise Boulevard, Hallandale Beach Boulevard, University Drive near I-595, the Southeast 17th Street Causeway, Pines Boulevard near I-75 and Young Circle where U.S. 1 intersects Hollywood Boulevard.
Coordinating the timing of traffic lights in the county is a challenge. Not only are the roads not laid out in a grid, there’s also 400 to 500 left turns that complicate matters. And lets not forget about allowing enough time for people on bikes or foot to cross at intersections.
Traffic volumes increased by double-digits on many roads in the last two years, according to the Sun-Sentinel, and some roads are just plain overloaded.
In a perfect world, traffic signals will turn green just as traffic arrives at the intersection that way a driver going the speed limit could get to where he or she was going without stop-and-go conditions. When a road is oversaturated, however, it doesn’t work.
When this happens sometimes, engineers will “chop up” the signal timing to create gaps in traffic. So instead of a string of green lights, drivers will hit hit a red light or two so that cars from side streets can enter the road. To drivers on the road, it seems like the engineers are creating traffic jams when in reality its the only way to keep things moving along.
Next year, the county will work with the Florida Department of Transportation to install Broward’s first “adaptive signal control” system on Pines Boulevard near I-75.
Such systems adjust the timing of the signals based on how traffic is flowing. They also detect gaps in traffic and immediately send new timing cycles to the signals.