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Traffic Program Cuts SF Driver Delays in Half

April 17, 2014, 5:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Traffic Program Cuts SF Driver Delays in Half

If your time traveling on E. 26th St. in Sioux Falls seems faster than normal, there's a reason why.

"You can go back to about five years ago when we first started talking about the idea of the adaptive traffic program," Sioux Falls Traffic Engineer Heath Hoftiezer said.

What city traffic engineers installed was essentially a computer at each intersection.  The program started last fall over parts of the E. 26th St. corridor, but all drivers may have noticed at the time were cameras perched at the intersections.

"The cameras are looking at each approach and they're looking to see how many cars are waiting on each approach. Along with look at how many cars are waiting, the program's also calculating how long the vehicles have waited," Hoftiezer said.

That number determines how fast the lights change from red to green. This new program is already showing some positive results for drivers on their commute.

"We reduced travel times by 8 percent and we've reduced the delay that drivers experience by about 52 percent," Hoftiezer said.

Hoftiezer says drivers have saved 164 hours total thanks to the new system, and that could actually be putting money back in your pocket as well.

"We came up with a figure of a little over $2,000 a day in benefit to the public in delays that are reduced and what people won't experience having to wait at lights," Hoftiezer said.

Savings that could be coming to more Sioux Falls roads.

Hoftiezer says that the adaptive traffic system at E. 26th St. was a test to see how well the program would work. They now have plans to install the system along 41st St.

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