NEW HOPE FOR TRAFFIC SNARLS With The Installation Of New Intelligent Traffic Lights

New hope for traffic congestion in Panama City.  Currently in Panama there are 107 traffic lights installed in junctions which are controlled in an uncoordinated and independent manner with a system that does not adjust to traffic flow.  Traffic flow varies significantly from hour to hour however the traffic lights currently installed do not adjust to these changes thereby causing congestion, noise and air pollution which are part of the daily commute for anyone driving in Panama.  Again, there is hope.

Since 2006 the Traffic and Land Transport Authority in Panama (ATTT)  started executing a project to cut traffic congestion in the capital city.  In 2007 it adjudicated a bid to Spanish company Telvent Tráfico y Transporte S.A. for the installation of new intelligent traffic lights for a value of approximately 12 million dollars.  180 traffic lights connected to a control center were programed to be installed replacing the old ones.  The intention is to reduce by 20% the time a driver spends sitting in an intersection and also to reduce gas consumption by 10% because once the system is operational the car should make less stops. Five of the junctions identified as the most problematic by Panama’s traffic authority will be equipped with cameras leading directly to the Traffic Flow Control Center to provide real time information on current traffic conditions.

The project will include the Traffic System, a Closed Circuit Television System (CCTV), the Communications Center and the Control Center plus the maintenance and operation of the system for the next seven years.  This project has two main components: the actual infrastructure and the software.  The software is meant to receive information from the cameras and the sensors installed in each junction with an intelligent traffic light and can adapt the traffic light times to real time conditions on the street.  This system has been installed by Telvent in large cities like Sao Paolo and Madrid with great success.

This new traffic control system also includes 66 pedestrian traffic lights and 13 pedestrian lights specially designed for blind pedestrians.

The company Telvent Tráfico y Transportes S.A. indicates that they have until January 2010 to deliver the project but they are trying to deliver two months earlier.  Providing the Republic of Panama with this Traffic Control System is a huge step for Televent’s expansion in Central America.  Should the company be able to deliver early this new system might be operational just in time to help alleviate the Christmas traffic congestion and make shopping more pleasant and fast.

For more information on Panama:  PanamaQmagazine

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