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City of Minot proceeds with coordinated traffic signal system

City proceeds with coordinated signal system

Jill Schramm/MDN Traffic moves through the East Burdick and Third Street Southeast intersection Monday.

A new traffic signal control system is expected to make driving Minot’s city streets a little less frustrating and considerably more satisfying.

The Minot City Council Monday approved a budget amendment on first reading to provide $200,000 in sales tax funds to finance an Advanced Traffic Management System, which will provide a communication link among the city’s interconnected traffic signals to better coordinate traffic flow. Initially, the project will link 28 of the city’s 49 traffic signals, but that number likely will increase to more than 40 by the end of the year, according to the Minot Engineering Department.

The council selected Traffic Control Corp. as vendor for the system. The system is not a physical asset but a license, service and three-year maintenance agreement for Intelligent Transportation System software.

Minot City Engineer Lance Meyer said the city will be working with the vendor to install the software to start linking the signal controllers. However, even with the software in place, motorists aren’t likely to see immediate changes, he said.

“Eventually we can get real-time data, traffic counts, and we can understand how many cars are actually getting to a signal on red or green lights. Then with that real-time data, we can tweak those signal timing plans to try to optimize them,” he said.

In addition to creating a better experience for drivers, the system is expected to increase corridor safety. The system also will allow city engineering staff to maintain effective signal timing and progression, get immediate reports of signal malfunctions and troubleshoot from anywhere.

The system will tie in recent improvements already made with upgraded signal cabinets and signal controllers. The continued expansion of SRT’s fiber network into the city’s signal system also is helping make the improvements possible.

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