Adaptive System Improves Traffic in Moab

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Moab is a vacation hotspot, but all those tourists can wreak havoc on the transportation infrastructure. See how UDOT is using Wavetronix SmartSensor Matrix to build an award-winning adaptive system that helps keep those tourists moving.

Jen Clark
Posted on
June 14, 2018

Moab, Utah is a tourist destination for hiking, mountain biking, and camping, but traffic in the area can be unpredictable. The people at the Utah Department of Transportation had the idea to tailor traffic signal timing to fluctuating traffic volumes by using an adaptive system.  

“In the past, we would schedule special timing plans on weekends when we expected heavy traffic, but we didn't always guess right,” says Matt Luker, state wide signal engineer at UDOT. “If I'm trying to predict these weekends and trying to guess how much traffic is going to be there, it is just too hard to do manually.”  

Seven intersections are part of the adaptive system that uses SmartSensor Matrix in Moab. The system looks at whether or not cars are being detected during the green phase. Data from the last three cycles are averaged out so the next cycle will allow a more ideal green time, effectively adapting green time to what is necessary.    

“Having reliable detection is key, and we have had very good experience with the Matrix down there, it seems like it is working very well,” says Luker.  

In the last year the system has improved traffic flow on Main Street in Moab by increasing the amount of green time for those movements when traffic is there to use it. When traffic on Main Street dies down, the cycle length comes down to reduce delay for pedestrians and cross-street traffic.