The City of Greenville is installing SmartSensor Matrix in place of loops, which have been used in the city for more than four decades but require frequent maintenance or replacement.

February 25, 2013

GREENVILLE, NC—Wavetronix LLC, the worldwide market leader in radar traffic detection and monitoring, is pleased to announce that the City of Greenville, North Carolina, has begun phasing in SmartSensor Matrix at its signalized intersections. The state-of-the-art traffic sensors are expected to provide numerous benefits to the city’s taxpayers and motorists including improved safety, cost savings, greater mobility and increased productivity.

The City of Greenville is installing SmartSensor Matrix in place of loops, which have been used in the city for more than four decades but require frequent maintenance or replacement. The city maintains 115 vehicle-activated signalized intersections that are currently outfitted with more than 900 loops, and according to officials, more than 50 loops fail or require maintenance each year. Replacing a loop can take a day or more and requires temporary lane closures that lead to traffic delays and reduced safety for motorists and workers.

“There are many reasons why loops fail,” says Richard DiCesare, a traffic engineer for the City of Greenville. “Pavement can shift and affect the loops, especially on a downgrade. New construction on adjacent lots can easily take out the lead wire along with all the loops it connects. And every time you need to mill and resurface a road, the loops typically need to be replaced.”

Under a new plan, the City of Greenville Public Works Department will consider replacing failed loops with Wavetronix sensors. Wavetronix is represented in North Carolina by Transportation Equipment and Services (TES), an authorized Wavetronix partner. “We instantly recognized that the technological, safety and cost-saving advantages offered by Wavetronix could be an excellent fit for the City of Greenville’s progressive approach to transportation solutions,” says TES sales consultant Mark Holland.

Instead of loops buried in the pavement, SmartSensor Matrix mounts above each intersection and emits 16 separate radar beams to achieve a 90-degree, 140-foot field of view that detects and tracks vehicles as they approach the intersection. The technology works in all weather and lighting conditions, can be installed at a cost comparable to loop systems, and provides numerous additional benefits:

• It improves motorist and worker safety by eliminating the need for lane closures during the installation and maintenance of traffic sensors; 
• It improves mobility by eliminating traffic delays that may occur as a result of the installation and maintenance of sensors; 
• It saves tax dollars by significantly reducing the long-term maintenance costs for sensors; 
• It prevents traffic delays that may occur as a result of detection failures; 
• It saves time and improves productivity of city workers by substantially reducing the amount of time and labor spent installing and maintaining sensors; 
• It adds detection capabilities for bicyclists using traffic lanes; 
• It adds data collection and traffic count capabilities at signalized intersections to enhance decision making and support requests for supplemental state and federal funding.

“Especially in these economic times, we’re always looking for ways to do things better and more cost-effectively, and Wavetronix makes that possible,” says DiCesare. “With SmartSensor Matrix we really are getting more for each taxpayer dollar by leveraging the additional safety, mobility, data-collection and time-saving benefits it provides. If the costs and benefits of this technology remain the same, the eventual goal will be phasing out loop detection in the City of Greenville in favor of the newer, more advanced technology.”

The City of Greenville installed its first SmartSensor Matrix in July 2012 at the intersection of Greenville Boulevard and Bismarck Street; it has purchased a second unit to have immediately available the next time a detection loop fails or requires replacement.