Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Traffic Control System Reduces Wait Time at Traffic Lights


Construction begins Monday, August 19 on an adaptive traffic control system designed to make traffic flow more smoothly by decreasing the amount of time motorists spend at red lights. The new technology, called InSync, will be implemented at 24 signalized intersections along Chamberlayne Avenue, Brook Road, Hermitage Road and Laburnum Avenue.  
InSync will change the traffic signals based on real-time vehicle demand. The technology will count the number of vehicles on both the main streets and side streets at the intersections. Then, through the use of wireless broadband radio communications, the traffic signals will “talk” with each other and relay real-time information needed to control the movement of the vehicles along the signalized corridor.  A computer processor at each intersection uses the information to develop signal timings that allow main street traffic to catch multiple green signals without stopping along the corridor and, at the same time, limit and reduce the amount of time motorists spend waiting on the side street.
In addition to shortening time at red lights, the new technology will ease congestion and help drivers spend less time in traffic, which results in lower vehicle emissions and fuel consumption, which aligns with Mayor Dwight C. Jones initiatives to reduce the City’s carbon footprint. 
Once the system is operational, motorists can expect a smoother commute in both directions with fewer stops at traffic signals. Motorists turning onto main streets from side streets can expect shorter delays waiting for traffic signals to turn green. The change will be most noticeable on the main streets during peak travel times and the side streets during off-peak hours. 
This project was funded through a grant from the Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) program. The estimated construction cost is approximately $1.4 million. The work is scheduled for completion in mid-February of 2014. 
For more information on City services and schedules log onto www.RichmondGov.com

City Announces Bicycle Master Plan To Identify Specific Transportation Infrastructure Improvements


~Online Survey Has Been Created to Identify Needs of the Public~

The City of Richmond announced today its continued plans to improve roadways and corridors that will help make bicycling a safe and convenient transportation option. The Bicycle Master Plan will develop specific recommendations for bike infrastructure improvements based on the preliminary plans from the City’s Strategic Multimodal Transportation Plan, called Richmond Connects. Richmond Connects has identified many roadways and corridors for bikeway improvements, and includes an assessment of existing and future conditions and needs. An online survey has been created to allow the public to assist the City in developing and prioritizing infrastructure improvements that will result in a network of bikeways that can be used for recreation or transportation. Click here to access the online survey. The survey will be open through the end of September.

“We have the goal of making Richmond one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the country,” commented Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “With the introduction of the Bicycle Master Plan, the public is able to work with the City to create a multimodal transportation system that supports Richmond’s growth in becoming a Tier One City.” 

The Bicycle Master Plan process began in July 2013 and will take approximately six months to complete. Residents are encouraged to assist in the determination of the needs of bike infrastructure improvements by participating in upcoming public events and meetings. The public involvement stage will start on Saturday, August 17 at the Sports Backers Anthem Moonlight Ride. Members of the Mayor’s Pedestrian, Bicycling, and Trails Planning Commission will be present to answer any questions about the plan. 

“Studies from around the United States, in cities big and small, indicate that many people are interested in using bicycling as a routine transportation option,” said Jakob Helmboldt, the City’s Pedestrian, Bicycle and Trails Coordinator. “Our aim in Richmond is to create a bicycle network that allows people of all ages to comfortably use bicycling as a means of healthy, affordable transportation and to create a more vibrant city.”

Mayor Jones created the Pedestrian, Bicycling, and Trails Planning Commission in 2010 to promote methods of active transportation and to support pedestrian and bicycle travel by becoming a community where walking and bicycling are integral parts of the city’s transportation system.

To view the Strategic Multi-Modal Transportation Plan, please visit: www.yesrichmondva.com. For more information on the City’s Pedestrian, Bicycle and Trails Commission, please visit: www.RichmondGov.com.