Smarter Roads traffic light streamlining to create smoother journeys

06 August 2021

The Department of Transport is undertaking the most comprehensive review of traffic lights since they were introduced to Melbourne almost 100 years ago.

Traffic lights and CCTV cameraMore than 850 traffic signals in parts of the west, south-east, and east of Melbourne are being analysed and updated by our recently expanded team of signal engineers to create smoother journeys for road users.

This is just one part of the $340 million Smarter Roads program that will keep people and goods flowing across Melbourne.

Anna Evangelista, a team leader for our Signal Optimisation team, says that at its simplest, congestion happens when there’s excess demand from one or more modes of transport.

“This program provides the opportunity for us to identify performance gaps and prioritise areas experiencing issues with congestion”.

She said that the team of traffic signal engineers will be analysing, monitoring, and re-timing hundreds of traffic lights to optimise traffic flow and improve safety.

During this process, they will also be taking into account safety and congestion data, as well as input from local government and transport partners.

Traffic along three lane road“These changes are being implemented to ensure we have an integrated and sustainable transport network,” said Anna.

The program is already resulting in positive outcomes across many of the optimised intersections.

For example, for commuters heading east on Sayers Rd in Hoppers Crossing in AM peak, we’ve halved queues in the right hand turn late at Tarneit Road, with motorists getting through in only one traffic light cycle, instead of the usual three.

This uplift in traffic signal optimisation will also eventually be supported by 14 new signal cadets, who are currently undergoing their two-year intensive training program.

As traffic patterns and demands change, optimising traffic light sequencing is the primary tool to improve road performance. Anna explained that it’s helping to keep people and goods moving safely and efficiently, even as the traffic volumes increase.

“Changes to traffic signals will result in smoother traffic flow through consecutive sets of traffic lights and reduced delays to pedestrians.”

The remainder of metropolitan Melbourne will be complete by December 2023 - that’s over 3,000 traffic signals in three years! 

Learn more about Smarter Roads.

 

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