ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city of Albuquerque is hoping newly activated traffic signal technology can help bring a smooth commute and more drivers back to Central.
Along with new pavement, the city also installed newer, smarter traffic signals along Central as part of the ART project. The city says those signals were recently activated as part of ART bus driver training.
“This is a first, these signals are next-generation signals, if you will,” said Johnny Chandler, spokesman for the city of Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development (DMD.)
While they look like virtually any other traffic signal, the Central corridor signals are all linked via fiber optics, which allows for high-speed data transfer.
“We now have real-time data on signal timing and vehicle traffic through the corridor, which is becoming quite helpful,” said Chandler.
The real-time data means that at any point, the city can use a centralized computer to remotely adjust how long the traffic signals stay red or green.
The project is similar to Bernalillo County’s smart signals on Alameda, which use cameras to read and adjust for heavy traffic.
“We hope to make it a really nice drive for anybody that wants to take it,” said Chandler.
The city believes a lot of drivers left the Central corridor during ART construction for other nearby roads like Lead and Coal. With continued adjustments, DMD is hoping drivers will return to Central to find a faster than expected commute if they’re heading through the corridor.
“We believe it has a potential to alleviate some of that traffic on Lead and Coal and bring them back to Central Avenue,” said Chandler.
The city says this traffic signal timing is in constant adjustment right now, but that drivers can expect more changes once the ART buses hit the streets. Central Avenue is the first road in Albuquerque with the traffic signals.