Tampa’s traffic signals going high tech

Downtown Tampa StreetAs a result of federal funding prioritized by the Metropolitan Planning Organization, the City of Tampa will roll out high-tech solutions to traffic congestion and crashes starting this fall. This Advanced Traffic Management System or ATMS uses fiber communications, CCTV cameras, and advanced controllers to provide for more reliable and efficient traffic flow.

City traffic engineer Vik Bhide recently briefed the MPO’s advisory committees highlighting the benefits of the new ATMS, including:

  • Replacing antiquated 30-year old equipment at 535 citywide
  • Real-time traffic data and video, enabling traffic engineers to detect and respond to incidents more quickly
  • Ability to vary signal timing for special events like hockey games and Gasparilla festivities
  • Compatibility with State and County traffic management centers and HART’s MetroRapid technology

The system will also provide driver information via dynamic message signs, enable emergency vehicles to preempt signals, and allow longer green time for some transit buses and lengthen pedestrian crossing times an many locations. Mr. Bhide said the system will save time and fuel for drivers and shippers. He compared it to Hillsborough County’s system, which is expected to produce time and fuel savings worth up to $122 million per year.

The City will begin deploying the ATMS later this year in the Westshore district. Later phases will take place in downtown Tampa, West Kennedy Boulevard, Hyde Park, Dale Mabry Highway, Busch Boulevard and in the University area. The City expects all ATMS phases will be installed within the next five years. For more information contact Rich Clarendon at clarendonr@plancom.org.