850 traffic-light signals to be analysed in Melbourne

Victoria’s Department of Transport has announced it will be analysing and updating 850 traffic signals throughout the west, south-east, and east of Melbourne – as part of the Smarter Roads program

This will be the most comprehensive review of traffic lights since the technology was introduced to Melbourne almost 100 years ago, with the work undertaken by the department’s recently expanded team of signal engineers. 

This is one part of the $340 million Smarter Roads program that will keep people, and goods, flowing across Melbourne.

Anna Evangelista, a team leader for the Signal Optimisation team, said that at its simplest, congestion happens when there’s excess demand from one or more modes of transport.

“This program provides the opportunity for us to identify performance gaps and prioritise areas experiencing issues with congestion”.

Ms Evangelista said that the team of traffic signal engineers will be analysing, monitoring, and re-timing hundreds of traffic lights to optimise traffic flow and improve safety.

During this process, they will also be taking into account safety and congestion data, as well as input from local government and transport partners.

“These changes are being implemented to ensure we have an integrated and sustainable transport network,” Ms Evangelista said. 

The program is already resulting in positive outcomes across many of the optimised intersections.

For example, for commuters heading east on Sayers Rd in Hoppers Crossing in AM peak, queues have been halved in the right hand turn late at Tarneit Road, with motorists getting through in only one traffic light cycle, instead of the usual three.

This uplift in traffic signal optimisation will also eventually be supported by 14 new signal cadets, who are currently undergoing their two-year intensive training program

As traffic patterns and demands change, optimising traffic light sequencing is the primary tool to improve road performance. 

Ms Evangelista said that it is helping to keep people and goods moving safely and efficiently, even as the traffic volumes increase.

“Changes to traffic signals will result in smoother traffic flow through consecutive sets of traffic lights and reduced delays to pedestrians,” Ms Evangelista said. 

The remainder of metropolitan Melbourne will be complete by December 2023 – that’s over 3,000 traffic signals in three years. 

Learn more about the Smarter Roads program here. 

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