Adaptive Traffic Signal Technology Will Be Activated on Minnesota Avenue This Week

Adaptive traffic signal technology will be activated this week at eight signals on Minnesota Avenue from 18th Street to I-229. The process will begin Tuesday, and all signals should be activated by the end of the day Wednesday. Drivers on this route are asked to pay special attention if they are waiting at the traffic lights, because the signals may not cycle in the same way.

That’s because newly installed cameras at the intersections use video technology to detect traffic flow. Based on the information the system detects, traffic signal changes are optimized to allow traffic to move more smoothly. The new traffic signal system detects current traffic counts and adjusts traffic signals in real time, not to preset patterns. As a result of the technology, drivers often experience shorter travel times and fewer stops. In addition, this system has been proven to reduce fuel use and vehicle emissions and improve safety.

“In a growing city, we have to think about far more than creating additional traffic lanes to keep vehicles moving,” says Mark Cotter, Director of Public Works. “If we can find innovative ways to allow drivers to move more efficiently through a corridor, it is a big win for our community.”

Sioux Falls was the first community in South Dakota to install adaptive traffic signal technology in early 2014. Its use on East 26th Street has made a positive impact on traffic flow in this well-traveled corridor, as well as reducing the number of crashes and decreasing fuel consumption for our residents and visitors.

Adaptive traffic signals also will be activated at 13 signals on West 41st Street from Minnesota Avenue to Marion Road later this year. The City of Sioux Falls has allocated $332,754.00 in the capital improvement plan to improve traffic flow on Minnesota Avenue, and the South Dakota Department of Transportation is investing $528,056.50 to reduce crashes on West 41st Street.

Combined, the three corridors soon equipped with adaptive traffic technology carry 100,000 vehicles (15 percent of the city’s traffic) on a daily basis.