System Tracks Traffic Lights in Norman
By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9
NORMAN, Oklahoma – Norman drivers may see quicker response time to malfunctioned traffic lights.
The intersection at Flood Avenue and Rock Creek Road can get congested, especially when a train comes through, which happens several times a day. If there's a train or some malfunction with the light, traffic engineers know about it almost immediately.
"The green lights mean the intersections are working properly," traffic engineer David Riesland said.
The Centracs System is now installed at 41 Norman intersections. The software uses cameras to monitor traffic flow, activate lights and note at once when lights malfunction.
"The beauty of the Centracs program, the software, will send us an alert, real time, so we will know when that critical even happens immediately," Riesland said.
Once the alert comes in, repair crews can be dispatched to make repairs on the lights or the camera if needed.
When pedestrian traffic clogs Lindsay Street at OU, the system knows it, and on OU home game days it can help manage traffic flow.
But does this eye in the sky mean Big Brother is watching you? Norman says no, it lacks law enforcement functions.
"You must have the ability to pan and zoom and tilt, and these cameras are fixed on the traffic signal hardware," Norman Traffic Engineer Angelo Lombardo said.
Watching cars and trucks and intersections can grow tedious. But there are humorous moments, too.
"I think, in some of the cameras, after the snowstorm we were actually to see people stopped along the side of the road and use the embankment to slide down the hill," Riesland said.
Norman's current contract with Centracs calls for the installation of nine more of the smart signals.