Forest Drive traffic signals improving to alleviate congestion

| October 29, 2014 | 1 Comment

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traffic-signalAnne Arundel County’s $251,000 interactive traffic control upgrades and new signal timing plans will go online this month to improve traffic flow efficiencies for motorists traveling to and from the congested Annapolis Neck corridor. The traffic signal upgrades and supporting software were supported by a $161,000 Baltimore Regional Transportation Board grant and implemented by the Department of Public Works to reduce congestion on Forest Drive.

“This corridor has been congested frequently for years – I know because I travel it daily,” said County Executive Laura Neuman. “The expense of increasing capacity along Forest Drive prompted the county to consider alternative ways to improve traffic flow, and doing so through the use of technology is exciting.”

The Adaptive Control Software (ACS) Lite technology will interact with recently upgraded traffic signal controllers at 12 Forest Drive intersections to continuously reallocate green light signal time based on real-time traffic volume data captured from remote monitors. The county anticipates results similar to the ACS Lite system implemented on Riva Road, which showed an 8 percent reduction in travel time and 26 percent reduction in total delay.

The DPW Bureau of Highways Traffic Engineering Division developed the new “flush” timing plans after meeting with City of Annapolis officials to address efforts to better re-direct Forest Drive traffic to and from detour routes. When new timing plans are activated, the appropriate side street traffic signals, timed to move traffic along Forest Drive, are reprogrammed to “flush” motorists around the closure. When the incident is cleared, the system will revert back to the normal timing plan.

“While these new plans will not eliminate congestion, I am pleased that we were able to collaborate with the City of Annapolis for more efficient use of our detour routes,” County Executive Neuman stated.

“This is a positive and fortunate outcome to a very unfortunate situation that resulted in major traffic gridlock back in March,” Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides said. “I am grateful to Anne Arundel County for their willingness to meet right away to discuss the traffic load on Annapolis roads, specifically on Forest Drive, and find alternatives for our residents.”

“Forest Drive is the main artery to many of our communities and I am proud to have worked with county Public Works staff to pursue efforts to improve and enhance traffic flow through this congested corridor,” said County Councilman Chris Trumbauer. “State-of-the-art signal optimization will help improve traffic flow, and the ability to ‘flush’ traffic in the event of an emergency is an important public safety upgrade for our residents.”

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