How cameras get signals chatting
To improve traffic and reduce emissions, the city purchased the “InSync” traffic system from Kansas’s Rhythm Engineering. The system enables traffic signals at different intersections to communicate with each other.
A camera on each traffic signal detects when cars enter the corridor’s one-mile “tunnel”, and that signal alerts subsequent signals that traffic is coming. The result: the lights ahead turn green within a few seconds of their approach to the next light and traffic keeps moving.
The system reduces stops at traffic signals by anywhere from 60 to 90 percent, says Scott Alisoglu, the funding resource analyst and EECBG program coordinator in Topeka. The new light pattern is expected to save 110,000 gallons of gas per year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calculations, that’s more than 1,000 tons of CO2 emissions—the same amount put out from the energy use of more than 80 homes per year.
“This is really about fuel savings and protecting the air we breathe,” says Voss.