Friday, June 21, 2024

Victorian traffic light analysis signals end of roads congestion

The Victorian Department of Transport is undertaking the most comprehensive review of traffic lights since they were introduced to Melbourne almost 100 years ago.

More than 850 traffic signals in parts of the west, south-east, and east of Melbourne are being analysed and updated by the Department’s signal engineers to create smoother journeys for road users.

The project is part of a $340 million Smarter Roads program aimed at keeping people and goods flowing across Melbourne.

A team leader for the Signal Optimisation team, Anna Evangelista says that at its simplest, congestion happens when there’s excess demand from one or more modes of transport.

“This program provides the opportunity for us to identify performance gaps and prioritise areas experiencing issues with congestion.”

She said a team of traffic signal engineers will be analysing, monitoring, and re-timing hundreds of traffic lights to optimise traffic flow and improve safety.

During this process, they will also be taking into account safety and congestion data, as well as input from local government and transport partners.

“These changes are being implemented to ensure we have an integrated and sustainable transport network,” said Ms Evangelista.

She said the program was already producing positive outcomes across many of the optimised intersections.

“For example, for commuters heading east on Sayers Rd in Hoppers Crossing in AM peak, we’ve halved queues in the right hand turn late at Tarneit Road, with motorists getting through in only one traffic light cycle, instead of the usual three.”

This uplift in traffic signal optimisation will also eventually be supported by 14 new signal cadets, who are currently undergoing their two-year intensive training program.

As traffic patterns and demands change, optimising traffic light sequencing is the primary tool to improve road performance.

“Changes to traffic signals will result in smoother traffic flow through consecutive sets of traffic lights and reduced delays to pedestrians,” she said.

The remainder of metropolitan Melbourne will be complete by December 2023 – that’s a goal of more than 3,000 traffic signals in three years. 

Learn more about Smarter Roads here.

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