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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Smarter, smoother traffic systems

Smarter, smoother traffic systems

As I’m driving, I have explored routes in Eugene that the traffic lights are synchronized. I even know that if I miss a certain traffic light, I can turn and follow another route to get to my destination quicker, safer and with less wear and tear on the vehicle. Every time you stop, you use more brake material and waste fuel and time. The good news about Eugene is the city has spent much time and money in traffic light controls. They are “smart” controls, knowing the time of day and “counting” vehicles on the road. How? There are two ways of counting vehicles I know of, the most common is in ground loop detectors. These are put into the payment and detect metal. There may be one to four loops in a lane at a stop light, counting vehicles. The more vehicles detected, the longer the light will stay green. If there’s a low traffic count, the lights change quickly. The other type is an infrared motion detector. The most visible one locally is the camera ... read more

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