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Can ‘intelligent’ lights ease traffic jams?

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Authorities are attempting to combat traffic with lights that communicate with each other. Photo: Sipse
Authorities are attempting to combat traffic with lights that communicate with each other. Photo: Sipse

Mérida, Yucatán — The Ministry of Public Security has high-tech solutions to resolve traffic problems in the busy north side of the city.

Officials are experimenting with “intelligent” traffic lights with fiber optic video. The new lights communicate with each other and adapt their signals to changing traffic conditions. One study found motorists spent 40 percent less time idling at lights, and travel times across cities were reduced by 26 percent, with smart lights.

Analog lights have already been replaced at the Prolongación de Montejo at  avenida Cámara de Comercio and at calles 60 Norte and 3-B, between the Gran Museo de Mundo Maya and the Galerias Mérida, in Col. Revolución. New lights are also coming to the major intersections along the Paseo de Montejo in the Hotel Zone. If this pilot program works out, more “intelligent” lights will be ordered.

Today, authorities count 200 intersections that would benefit from the new traffic signals.

In four years, vehicular traffic has grown an astonishing 70 percent. The presence of motorcycles is up 112 percent; the city counts more than 103,000 of them.

The state has over 575,000 registered vehicles, and 80 percent of those pass through Mérida. Of those, 60 percent drive through the city’s growing north.

Sources: Diario de Yucatán, Wikipedia

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