ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. - An Australian traffic concept is making its way to Denver. CDOT will soon begin installation of a state-of-the-art system that has never before been used in the United States.
“We’re going to be deploying hyper-smart ramp meters, those are the lights that let you on and off the road as a way of connecting how people come in from our arterials on to the main line,” said Amy Ford, CDOT Spokesperson.
Here’s how it’ll work:
Right now, most of the on-ramps on I-25 have stop lights that control traffic flow onto the interstate. These lights are timed automatically at a set interval and don’t take into account how many people are on the ramps or in the neighborhoods that surround the ramps.
With this new system, CDOT will install sensors in the lights in the area around the ramps, as well as on the ramps to determine how much traffic is likely to feed onto the interstate and the length of the lights on the ramps will then change depending on that traffic impact.
In Australia, transportation leaders have seen a 40 percent reduction in rush hour congestion. While CDOT leaders aren’t expecting an impact that high, they say it’ll still be substantial.
“We’re looking at about a 20 to 25 percent reduction in congestion if things go the way we think they can,” said Ford.
Denver7 spoke to several people who think traffic is getting too stressful in Denver.
“It’s annoying, you know, it takes some times forever, sometimes it freezes when you’re in a hurry especially in the morning, like, I go to my 7-Eleven store it takes sometimes you know 30 seconds or so,” said Sukh Preet, who commutes on I-25 the early morning hours.
“I think it would be a good thing if it moves traffic along. I know rush hours been a problem here in Denver and anything we can do to keep that moving would be appreciated,” Paul Wicker, who commutes on I-25 to work.
The system will include on ramp lights from Ridgegate Drive in Douglas County north to Broadway in Denver.
The system will cost CDOT $7 million and should be complete by the end of 2016.