Bernalillo County to expand adaptive traffic signal system

traffic light

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE)  Bernalillo County leaders say they want to make it easier for people to drive, walk and bike down one busy street. They say a recent study proves a new traffic signal system is saving commuters time on the road, so they’re expanding it to take advantage of the system’s success.

It’s described as an intelligent system that adapts to the number of cars on the road.

The cameras count traffic in real-time. Once a certain number of cars line up at a red light, it turns green. It works similarly with pedestrian crosswalks and also syncs up with emergency vehicles.

The county installed the adaptive signaling system at intersections between Second and Loretta in 2013.

Leaders say a recent study revealed the system improved traffic flow by 20 percent.

Now, they’re using a $400,000 grant from the federal government to expand the program to four more intersections– from Corrales to Cottonwood.

“You can see how much traffic is here and if you only do a project to a certain point, you really start another bottleneck. So, it’s like, ‘oh, wow. We’ve got this great movement to here,’ and then it stops,” explained Commissioner Lonnie Talbert.

Talbert says the expansion will help keep traffic moving for commuters all the way to Cottonwood.

Talbert also says the county is still two and a half months from the scheduled construction, which is set for mid-June. He says residents will be notified of the specifics once they near the start date.

Leaders say construction will be very minimal because they’re not making a whole lot of changes, but people can likely expect some lane closures.

They say it should take three weeks to complete.

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