BEVERLY HILLS — The Road Commission for Oakland County has completed the installation of “smart” traffic signals on Lapeer Road, M-24 in Orion Township and the Village of Lake Orion.
RCOC’s Faster And Safer Travel-Through Routing & Advanced Controls (FAST-TRAC) traffic signals use technology to continuously detect the amount of traffic present at an intersection and adjust signal timing in real time to most efficiently move that traffic.
FAST-TRAC is the second-largest “adaptive” traffic signal system in the nation, and is currently in place at more than 675 intersections in the county. Now, through the Lapeer Road project, RCOC has worked with the Michigan Department of Transportation to expand the system onto additional state highways as well.
“FAST-TRAC has been proven to improve traffic flow and reduce serious injury accidents,” said RCOC chairman Eric Wilson. “With this system, we can get some additional vehicle capacity out of a road without widening the road, while also making the road safer. That’s a substantial benefit and a great bang for the buck.”
The project includes 12 traffic signals on Lapeer Road, running from the Brown Road intersection on the south to the signal at the crossover just north of Indianwood Road at the north. RCOC designed the signal portion of the project and assisted MDOT in overseeing the project implementation.
“We were one of the first road agencies in the country to get into ‘adaptive’ traffic signal systems to reduce congestion,” Wilson said. “We remain one of the leaders in the world in this type of technology.”
Wilson added that RCOC was the first agency to use video-imaging technology for traffic management, and maintains the largest such system in the world, with more than 2,000 vehicle-detection cameras currently in the air. He added that independent studies of RCOC’s FAST-TRAC system by Michigan State University and others have documented that the system has reduced traffic delays. A study of the system in Troy also documented a reduction of more than 50 percent in serious injury crashes following the installation of the system.
“This is real win-win technology,” Wilson said. “We’re very pleased to have assisted MDOT to expand the system to the M-24 corridor.”
The M-24 project also included modernizing the actual signals at many of the intersections, including converting them to energy-saving light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, as well as upgrading the pedestrian crosswalks at the intersections to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The project cost $850,000.