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General News of Sunday, 10 February 2013

Source: Graphic Online

Traffic signal system to be centrally controlled

A $135 MILLION project which seeks to change the face of urban traffic management through a centrally controlled and coordinated traffic signal system is to be executed by the Department of Urban Roads (DUR) from March this year.

The project, the Accra Intelligent Traffic Management System (AITMS), will be financed with part of the US$3 billion loan from the China Development Bank (CDB).

About 182 intelligent traffic signals will be installed and coordinated under the project in Accra.

It is anticipated that the commencement and subsequent completion of the AITMS will eliminate the gridlock that currently holds Accra commuters in the metropolis ransom during ‘rush hours’ while dealing positively with air pollution.

"The system shall allow the traffic signals to communicate with one another and improve efficiency and reduce delays. Presently, all the traffic lights operating within Accra operate as 'stand alone' traffic lights and do not communicate with one another," the Chief Engineer in charge of Maintenance at the DUR, Mr Rosby Kome-Mensah, stated.

Briefing the Daily Graphic in an interview on the two projects, Mr Kome-Mensah said: "The intelligent traffic lights will allow the operation of 'green wave' on certain corridors during peak periods. The green wave allows vehicles to move through successive intersections at specified speed without stopping," he stated.

Three contractors have been engaged by the DUR for the project.

Beijing Everyway Traffic and Lighting Technology Company Limited, Messrs Ussuya Ghana Limited and Sidalco Limited are to execute various components of the project.

The Chinese company, Beijing Everyway, will work on the provision and installation of traffic management system at the cost, while the two local companies, Ussuya and Sidalco, will do the intersection improvement works and the construction of the Urban Control Centre.

The AITMS features modern technology to help in the control, detection of traffic offenders and monitoring.

It will for in instance be fitted with Intelligent Traffic Violation Monitoring and System and that according to Mr Kome-Mensah has been designed based on advanced image recognition technology, motion detection technology and vehicle licence plate recognition technology.

"These technologies are fully automatic and can run in all kinds of weather to obtain evidence of traffic violations such as traffic signal violation, speeding violation, jumping red traffic lights, yellow line occupancy and crossing restricted areas, among other offences."

Real-time information on traffic flows, congestion and incidents on travel routes will be displayed at strategic locations to help road users make informed route choices. “For instance, during the morning rush hours, drivers coming from Madina in the morning will have advance information before they get to Tetteh Quarshie Interchange to indicate congestion levels on the N1, Obasanjo Highway/Kanda Highway and the Liberation Road/Independence Avenue corridors,” Mr Kome-Mensah stated.

“All these sub-systems shall be integrated at the Traffic Control Centre where traffic and incidents on major corridors and junctions throughout the metropolis, according to Kome-Mensah, can be observed on a bank of monitors and managed to ensure smooth and safe ride for road users. The Traffic Control Centre will also serve as a coordinating centre during national emergencies, special events, and flood control, among others. To ensure sustainability of the AITMS, a Special Purpose Company has been incorporated to operate and maintain the system.

As part of the project, Mr Mensah said street lights would also be provided along 200km of major roads to provide night-time safety and urban renewal. These lights will be provided with solar power backups and monitored from the Traffic Control Centre.

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