P1-B stop lights may halt road woes

Motorists have been up in arms against being victims of what they call as the daily entrapment on the road due to the dated traffic signals that do not complement the use of cameras for traffic violations.

During a road jam, the lack of uniformity in the duration of the lights results to instant penalties that road users, particularly drivers of passenger vehicles such as taxicabs, consider as grossly unfair.

The solution of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to the bane of motorists is a P1-billion program to upgrade the existing traffic signaling system.

Engr. Francisco Pesino, MMDA Road Safety Unit Traffic Operations Officer, said upgrading to an adaptive traffic system which originated from Seoul, South Korea will address many of the complaints from motorists.

Many have lamented that the signaling was better when the stop lights included a countdown.


Nine-year-old scheme

The current traffic system was installed in 2013 that brings the need for an overhaul to catch up with international standards.

According to Pesino, the traffic signaling system under the MMDA’s control is aside from the Korean system operated by the Makati, Pasig and Valenzuela city governments.

The upgraded system will revive the countdown, this time with advanced signals that will adapt to vehicle volume on a particular road.

The traffic system operates in three basic modes: fully actuated, semi-actuated, and fixed-time.

The timers are only applicable when the traffic lights are under the fixed-time mode, according to the MMDA official.

Full and semi-actuated modes conflict with detector that considers the time based on the actual volume of vehicles.

Likewise, Pesino belied complaints of manipulated traffic lights that immediately turn red from green while they were crossing intersections.

He said there is a three-second window for the green light to turn red or full stop.

Within the next two to three years, the MMDA will phase out stop lights with timers.

At the moment, the MMDA control center (Metrobase) is 50 percent connected that can monitor and adjust timing.

Pesino revealed the upgrade of the traffic system after the agency’s communication provider migrated from analog to digital, that resulted to the disruption of stand-alone operation of all road intersections.

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