New York project expansion reduces travel times on major corridors

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The City of Syracuse’s mayor, Stephanie A Miner (below), has revealed that the newly-completed expansion of the Interconnect Project has synchronized traffic lights across the New York State city, reducing congestion and limiting delays by over 80% on some corridors.

The completed project was the second phase of the Interconnect Project, which began in 1993, and expanded the city’s network of intelligent traffic signals controlled remotely from the Department of Public Works Traffic Control Center (TCC). The second phase of the project added traffic signals at 35 intersections and six closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras to the city’s fiber-optic network, bringing the city’s totals to 159 intersections on the network and 11 with CCTV monitoring. The network was upgraded to include Ethernet protocols and redundancies to ensure continuity of operation.

In areas covered by the expansion completed in Phase II, travel time and intersection delays decreased while corridor speeds increased. Along North Salina Street, traveling southbound, travel time decreased by 44% and delays were reduced by 81%, while the corridor speed was increased by 79%. The system allows the city to have direct access, through its TCC, to traffic signals across multiple corridors, letting staff identify signal malfunctions early, leading to faster repairs and adjustments in the network to ensure the continued smooth flow of traffic.

The system also compiles traffic volume data and allows operators to maintain these records from a central system. The city can also use this system to efficiently address signal network issues that arise from special events, such as parades, and in the event of potential emergencies or evacuations. The city has recently begun implementing the third phase of the project, which will bring 44 more intersections into the centralized system and add more CCTV cameras to the network.

“The Syracuse Interconnect Project has delivered on the long-standing promise of synchronizing our traffic lights. This results in reduced commute times and fewer delays. The Interconnect is a quality of life improvement for city drivers and residents,” said Miner.

“This project is the culmination of years of work from excellent city employees, and I thank them for their tireless effort. The Interconnect is improving residents’ commutes and is part of Syracuse’s continued commitment to data-driven decision making, which is enhancing the lives of people in the community every day.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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