TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT: California turns to technology to solve traffic mess

Oct. 23, 2012

State and regional transportation groups launch $80 million dollar project to improve traffic congestion on I-80

The Interstate 80 corridor through Richmond and Berkeley in California has the worst traffic in the Bay area, says Caltrans, the state agency responsible for highway, bridge and rail transportation planning, construction and maintenance.
But with the San Francisco Bay on one side and buildings on the other, widening the road isn’t an option.
So, Caltrans and regional transportation groups are starting an $80 million dollar initiative to improve the traffic snarl through technology.
Project No. 1: Advanced metering lights at on-ramps that space out cars entering the freeway and give special preference to buses.
Project No. 2: Signs over each lane of traffic that display real-time information, which will help move cars out of lanes with accidents and slow down cars more gradually in order to improve traffic flow.
Project No. 3: Traffic signal coordination with the main parallel route, San Pablo Avenue, which will help keep traffic from backing up there.
By mid-2015, when everything is in place, the initiative should reduce travel time by 16 percent, said Bijan Sartipi, director of Caltrans District 4.
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