Dunlawton Traffic Signals | Missing Funds?

Add this to all the previous complaints sent to Port Orange City Hall about poor traffic signal coordination and congestion along Dunlawton ave.  Other than a few promises made from time to time, very little has been done to make any improvements over the past several years.
When the Pavilion project was built on Williamson Blvd that developer was required to provide a funding source for traffic signal improvements along Dunlawton, but that never occurred.  Who has those funds and/or were are those funds?
Apparently the county traffic engineering division now use a Time-of-Day program in a master controller to obtain some coordination between the intersection controllers along Dunlawton Ave.   Microprocessor controllers are used at intersections to control the efficient use of green time for each approach, based on time of day.  The master controller is used  to control progression between intersection also based on time-of-day.  The county T.E.D.or state FDOT has developed 4  time-of-day timing plans for weekdays and 2 special plans for Saturdays & Sundays.  Weekday plans for Dunlawton Ave.includes:   (a) 6:30am to 10:00am  (b) 10:am to 2:30pm  (c) 2:30pm to 9:00pm and (d) 9:00pm to 6:30am during when intersection controllers are allowed to float-free.   See timing plan for Village Trail & Dunlawton below.
Due to the traffic volume increases that have occurred on Dunlawton since all the development west of I-95 started,  this existing signal system should have been replaced with a Traffic Responsive – Closed Loop system years ago
Time-of-Day Signal Systems
With this existing type signal system, usually annually, traffic engineering personnel collect traffic volume data from most intersection along the artery.  They bring that collected data to their office and run it through a computer program to obtain traffic signal timing plans for several time periods for an average day.  However, the weakness in this type of system is it is only efficient when traffic movements within the system somewhat matches the movements used in the computer model run for that time period.   If an event or incident occurs that causes traffic movements to deviate from the data previously collected & used for that time period then we hear : “HOUSTON; WE HAVE A PROBLEM”
As a case in point, at the intersection of Dunlawton & Yorktown, on more than one occasion I noticed that when fire apparatus responding to an emergency preempts the opticom equipment at the intersection, it would take several cycles for the signal to get back in step with the rest of Dunlawton.    By the time the intersection controller re-synced the damage to traffic platooning was complete, and the intersection would remain congested for 1/2 hour or more before traffic movements slowly returned to normal..

Traffic Responsive – Closed Loop Signal Systems
These type of systems were developed more that 30 years ago.   A master controller (Computer) is located in one of the controller cabinets along the artery, and receives continuous traffic movement information from induction loops embedded in the roadways and/or traffic cameras thru-out the system.  The master computer continuously communicates with all the intersection controllers and controls what timing plans and offsets are to be used at each intersection.
 Unlike the older systems, these type master controllers are not concerned with the time of day, but continuously respond only to current traffic conditions, and selects the most efficient timing plan for all intersections within the system based on the existing traffic conditions.
Sooo, what do you think folks?  Should we continue to put up with the Time-of-Day System on Dunlawton, or move to a more progressive Traffic Responsive – Closed Loop System?    And can we find out what happened to the Pavilion project funds for this type endeavor?


Typical Traffic Controller Cabinet


2 thoughts on “Dunlawton Traffic Signals | Missing Funds?

  • September 15, 2015 at 11:37 am

    if this is the beginning of another city scandal about lost; missing or misappropriated public monies — then defiantly someone should be sent to jail or as a minimum be fired


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