Governor Tom Wolf has announced that 70 municipalities in Pennsylvania will receive a total of more than US$31m to support traffic signal upgrades, increasing safety and mobility across the state’s communities and road network.
Funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Municipal Signal Partnership Program, also known as ‘Green Light – Go’, grants are provided as reimbursement to municipalities for updates to improve the efficiency and operation of existing traffic signals. Created in 2013, Green Light – Go provides state funds for the operation and maintenance of traffic signals along critical and designated corridors on state highways. PennDOT has also developed a similar traffic signal modernization and improvement program for critical corridors, designed to improve safety and mobility by reducing congestion and improving efficiency on key state routes.
Grant funding through the Green Light – Go program may be used for a range of operational improvements, including, but not limited to: light-emitting diode (LED) signal head technology installation; traffic signal retiming; developing special event plans; and monitoring traffic signals, as well as upgrading them in line with the latest technologies. Two of the main beneficiaries of the new funding program will be the cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Philadelphia will get funding for three separate projects:
• US$3.2m to modernize 20 intersections along the 2nd Street Corridor, with the installation of traffic controllers, communications equipment to connect back to the City’s Traffic Operations Center (TOC), pavement markings and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) curb ramps;
• US$1.8m for installation of wireless communication to interconnect 60 traffic signals and connect back to the TOC;
• US$4.6m to modernize 23 intersections along the Oregon Avenue Corridor, with the installation of traffic controllers, communications equipment to connect back to the TOC, pavement markings and ADA curb ramps.
Pittsburgh will receive US$3.5m for improvements to pedestrian facilities at 35 traffic signals in the Central Business District.
Spread across PennDOT’s 12 operational districts, the program will meet a range of needs, including:
• The basic deployment of new strain poles for overhead signals and mast arm replacement, and widespread replacement of existing lights with energy-saving LED technologies to reduce local running costs;
• Installation of new detection systems including the use of loop, radar, infrared and video technologies;
• Improved systems for pedestrians, such as new countdown signals, and new audible push buttons or ADA-compliant push buttons;
• New emergency and transit vehicle pre-emption systems;
• Uninterruptible power supply or battery backup equipment;
• Radio communications and trunk fiber connections;
• Modernization of traffic signal controller units to the latest industry standards;
• Deployment adaptive traffic signal systems on the state’s key highway corridors.
“This is the fourth round of funding disbursed to support increased safety and mobility across more Pennsylvania towns,” explained Wolf. “The Green Light – Go program addresses mechanisms that, if not functioning properly, can aggravate congestion and impede traffic flow.”