Intercity Transit to add to traffic problems

January 28th, 2016 by Ken

If you think traffic problems around Lacey and Olympia are bad now, just wait until Intercity Transit introduces its transit signal priority (TSP) system.

Based on the system currently in use by police, fire and medic, the TSP would change signal lights to allow transit bus to proceed through an intersection without having to stop.

Anyone who has sat at a red light and noticed an emergency vehicle approaching from the other side, knows that he will sit at that intersection for several minutes before the light changes his way.  Traffic backs up for blocks and takes half an hour or more to clear.   We put up with it because these are emergency vehicles on the way to save lives or protect us from harm.

Will we have the same patience for transit buses?   A more important question seems to be – is such a system needed by Intercity Transit?

While the idea is not a new one, more urgency seems to be in order this time around, as the transit system seeks a way to increase its service, particularly at peak rush hours when their vehicles are often caught in traffic along with all of the other commuters.

There are many ways that TSP works.   If a bus is approaching an intersection with a green light, it can keep the green light going longer to allow the bus to pass through.   If a bus in approaching an intersection with a red light, it can speed up the signal to turn to green.   It can also eliminate a left turn light to allow it more time to make it through the intersection before the signal changes to red.

One of the largest cities to use TSP is Calgary which has outfitted all of its signals with a blue light which signals motorists that the signal is currently in TSP mode.  When the blue light goes out, the signal is back to normal.

There are many other ways that TSP works and I suspect that Intercity Transit is looking at all the alternatives.

Intercity Transit has not as yet advanced the idea for TSP to the citizens for comment.

Posted in Government, Informational, The Real News

(comments are closed).