Drivers traveling the Alameda corridor between Second Street and Cottonwood Drive will find the commute on average 5 to 6 minutes shorter in each direction thanks to the completion of the second phase of the Alameda Boulevard Adaptive Signal Project, Bernalillo County spokeswoman Catherine Lopez said Thursday.
Adaptive signals, “are a bit like artificial intelligence,” she said. “There are cameras at each of 11 intersections. The cameras monitor the traffic and read real-time traffic patterns, and then adjust the traffic lights accordingly. The intention is to keep traffic moving so motorists spend less time sitting at red lights and more time driving through the green lights.”
And the cameras do not just monitor Alameda; they also keep tabs on the cross traffic and automatically adjust the lights to allow the optimum flow from those roads through the intersection, she said.
With the completion of phase two, four additional lights between Coors Boulevard and Cottonwood Drive have been retrofitted with the adaptive technology. Phase one, which began in early 2013, retrofitted seven traffic lights between Second Street and Loretta Drive.
The Alameda corridor between Interstate 25 and Cottonwood Drive, which carries traffic to the West Side, Corrales and Rio Rancho, “is the most congested corridor in the city, which is why it was selected for the adaptive system,” Lopez said. That stretch of road sees on average 44,000 vehicles daily, she said.
Between Cottonwood Drive and Second Street, motorists will see their morning rush hour commute reduced from 10 minutes to 5 minutes on average, and their evening rush hour commute reduced from 17 minutes to 11 minutes, Lopez said.
The entire cost of the Alameda Boulevard Adaptive Signal Project, which involved installation of cameras, fiber optics and electronics, was $743,000, with Bernalillo County paying $343,000 and the federal government providing $400,000, she said.