EBR begins connecting majority of traffic signals to ease congestion
BATON ROUGE - While traffic was light during the pandemic, crews got a head start on a project that is supposed to reduce the amount of time drivers spend in their cars.
As part of the MOVEBR program, the parish has started implementing traffic signal upgrades and laying fiber optic cable to synchronize the majority of the area's traffic signals.
“An important part of MOVEBR is a traffic management system that will give us 100-percent connectivity with our traffic signals, allowing us to adjust traffic flow at any time from our Advanced Traffic Management Center,” Mayor Broome said in a press release. “In this digital age, very few cities in the U.S. have fully connected traffic signal systems – I’m proud to say Baton Rouge is leading the way.”
The project includes equipment upgrades, software improvements and fiber optic cable that will connect 470 traffic signals throughout East Baton Rouge Parish, doubling the amount of cable connecting those signals to 176 miles.
First responders will benefit from the advanced technology. Emergency vehicles will be able to turn a light green in order to get where they need to go faster.
"You'll get there quickly, and you'll get there more safe. Two things that are just irreplaceable," said Curt Monte with the Baton Rouge Fire Dept.
The MOVEBR signal project will also build an emergency grid by equipping 200 signals in key corridors with emergency power supplies that keep them operating for up to four hours if signals lose power during storm events or other incidents.
“The COVID-19 crisis presented an opening for us to start these signal projects, get work crews out at night when traffic was at a minimum and get these improvements underway,” Mayor Broome said. “While we have faced challenges in many areas during the past several months, we also saw a unique opportunity, and our team responded.”
According to the Mayor, the signal upgrades can reduce travel time by 10-50 percent and accidents by 30-50 percent depending on circumstances. The project is estimated to be fully implemented within two to three years.
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