Hartford traffic cameras aim to improve traffic flow

The cameras react to keep lights green longer
Posted at 10:20 PM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 23:20:25-04

Hartford wants to improve traffic flow from one side of the city to the other, but instead of increasing the speed limit on Highway 60 city leaders decided to change up the traffic lights.

They now have smart stoplights. It's technology that watches what you do and reacts. It has drivers noticing, even if they do not know what they are looking at.

"There's a camera up there actually," said Brian Londo, pointing to the stoplight before getting on his motorcycle.

But what those cameras do is causing some confusion.

"They are keeping track of traffic (because) a lot of people go through the red light when they come down here," said driver Elaine Gossfeld.

Well, that is sort of right. But they are not red light cameras that give out tickets.

"What the cameras that are set up on top of the lights are doing is basically monitoring the traffic on Highway 83 and if there is no traffic on Highway 83 it will keep the green light lit on Highway 60 to keep traffic going through the city of Hartford," said City Administrator Steve Volkert.

The idea is to allow semi truck traffic to flow to the businesses on the west side of the city more effectively, without holding up motorists headed north and south for too long.

"As soon as someone does come up to that area it will start the timer and the timer will basically flip over to a normal green light," Volkert said.

The cameras also monitor how many cars are in the turn lanes and shortens or lengthens the arrows to match. It's something that one busy mom hauling kids to activities definitely noticed.

"If I'm four cars back it used to stop after about two cars and now it keeps going until everybody is through. How cool is that?" said Sherry Driman.

The hope is the stoplights will streamline traffic and the city won't need to write as many tickets for drivers running red lights.

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