SPOKANE, Wash – Smarter stoplights could be the answer to saving you time on your commute down Division Street in Spokane. At least, that's what city traffic engineers are hoping.
They'll be installing a new technology called "adaptive signal control" in 12 intersection on Division between Garland and Newport Highway, including Lidgerwood and Wellesley.
Senior Traffic Engineer Val Melvin told KHQ's Kelsey Watts the new system would measure traffic volume in near real-time, then adjusts the lights to allow for a better flow of traffic where it's needed most. For instance, heading south into downtown for the morning commute and back north in the evening, or to better control the flow of holiday shoppers at the NorthTown Mall.
Melvin hopes the new system will reduce travel time through the busy corridor by 10% - but some national figures estimate it could be up to 25% on Division, and 40% on the east-west streets that cross it.
Similar models are already up and running in Renton and Bellevue, and others are in the process of being installed across Washington. However, the system being installed in Spokane would be the first of its kind in the state because it is cutting-edge technology that can monitor its own effectiveness.
The City of Spokane will spend about $115,000 to get the system up and running, and a Federal Highway Administration grant will cover the remaining $738,000.
The technology should be installed and in use by the end of the year.