The Ministry of Public Works have started upgrading traffic signals throughout New Providence with the aim of reducing traffic congestion across the island.
With over fifty percent (50%) of traffic signals not up to current industry standards, Works Minister the Honourable T. Desmond Bannister emphasised the importance of this initiative.
“It is our intention to reduce the travel time and increase the safety of motorists across the island. The current traffic signal network in Nassau has about forty (40) signals that are over thirty (30) years old. The equipment no longer meet industry standard and are outdated,” Mr. Bannister said. “It is imperative that the old equipment be replaced with upgraded equipment to produce the proper level of service that will meet the traffic flow demand.”
Senior Transportation Engineer Joy John said the new traffic signals are made of a strong, non-corrosive material, which is able to withstand the elements, and are equipped with durable, energy efficient LED light bulbs that have a long lifespan.
Mr. John noted that “traffic signal improvements is one of the most cost-effective energy conservation strategies in places like Nassau. One should be aware that an idling engine not only wastes fuel, but also emits pollutants into the air.”
“It is our intention to improve the safety and reduce the travel time for the motoring public across all signalized intersections in Nassau. Our first approach is to upgrade all the outdated and old equipment and secondly introduce a traffic Management Centre (TMC) that will help reduce the travel time, safety at these intersections.”
The benefits of the traffic signal upgrades enhances the safety of the public and reduce traffic related accidents, reduce traffic signal malfunctions during unforeseen weather conditions and meet the current and structural and wind-load standards.
The benefits of the Traffic Management Center (TMC) are that maintenance officers will be able to monitor the operation of the traffic signals on computers in the TMC and also receive information on malfunctioning signals through their smart phones.
Once all of the traffic signals have been changed out the next step in the programme will be to install cameras at critical intersections so that officers in the TMC can remotely change traffic signal timing based on real time information received through the video stream. For example, if it is noted that one leg of the intersection has a backup of traffic the officers will be able to temporarily lengthen the green signal on that leg to assist in clearing the backlog.