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‘Smart’ traffic signals deployed in Savannah

  • AECOM Senior Technician Mike DiSanza described on Wednesday how a new traffic signal system installed by GDOT can improve vehicle flow on Victory Drive. (Eric Curl/Savannah Morning News)
  • Stephen Henry, a city of Savannah traffic engineer, said that Victory Drive is a good starting point for the technological improvements, considering the road can not be widened to accommodate the increasing amount of traffic. (Eric Curl/Savannah Morning News)
Mike DiSanza may be the key to keeping blood pressure low on Victory Drive.
 
As a senior technician with AECOM, DiSanza’s engineering firm has been tasked by the Georgia Department of Transportation to monitor a new traffic signal system the state is deploying to improve traffic flow along the corridor.
 
“I’m out here everyday looking at the traffic and making adjustments if needed,” DiSanza said.
 
So far, GDOT has outfitted the signals with 4G antennas that allow traffic engineers to monitor one intersection while making changes at another. In the next couple of months, GDOT plans to install a traffic responsive program that will take data and automatically change the traffic pattern according to the volume of traffic coming through. And cameras are expected to be installed by the summer, which will allow traffic signals to be monitored and adjusted from a central office.
 
The local traffic signal program is the first of its kind in the state outside metro Atlanta, according to officials. In addition to Victory, signals have also been upgraded on Ogeechee Road and Chatham Parkway, for a total of 52 intersections, and other busy Savannah corridors may receive similar upgrades, according to officials.
 
Stephen Henry, a city of Savannah traffic engineer, said that Victory is a good starting point for the technological improvements, considering the road can not be widened to accommodate the increasing amount of traffic. But Henry said the system is not expected to be a complete fix.
 
“We’re not going to be able to take all these cars off of Victory Drive, but the hope is we’re going to move them smoothly and decrease the delay they may have,” he said.
 
The Coastal Region Metropolitan Planning Organization is also developing a plan to improve transportation, landscaping and urban design along Victory. The third phase of the multi-phase plan, which focused on Victory between Bee Road and just east of Skidaway Road, included a reconstructed interchange to address the traffic congestion at the Truman Parkway ramps, as well as additional sidewalks, upgraded bus stops and parallel routes for bicyclists. The plan was approved by the planning organization in December, but it is expected to take years to get the funding and support from outside agencies needed to implement all of the recommendations.

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