New year, new traffic management system

Lubbock, Texas plans multimillion-dollar project to overhaul software, roads

December 30, 2011

A Texas town’s traffic management system is getting a major upgrade in 2012, according to

Lubbock, Texas, is embarking on a $4.7-million, two-year bond project that will provide desperately needed updates to software and roads.

Public Works Director Marsha Reed said that the project ultimately will provide safer roads with a better traffic flow.

"Our system currently is way past its age," Reed said.

New software, computer systems and other parts of the project will give traffic engineers better communication to traffic signals. 

Reed said that the new system can improve traffic in several ways, including any time the traffic signal system needs to be altered, such as in the case of a car collision.

New fiber lines will need to be installed in several areas across the city. Reed said the bids for those projects are about to go out, and construction to add the fiber should start after the first of the year.

Software will also play a key role in the improvements, Reed said. The software will be able to “talk to” traffic signals, import new traffic plans and get traffic moving faster.

The city will add cameras that can see major roads inside the city, according to Reed. Currently, camera systems are only being used on one major road. 

Right now the traffic signals run on three plans, or timing sequences used to direct traffic signals. 

Morning peak plans run between 7:00 and 8:30. Evening peak plans are between 4:00 and 6:00. The rest of the time the signals run at on off-peak schedule.

Reed stated that current software can only handle three plans, but the new system can do much more.

"Our hope is that you can make several signals and still keep within the flow," she said.