The City of Pleasanton was nationally recognized for its use of the Intersector devices on January 4th, 2012 by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) by receiving the ITS America’s Smart Solution Spotlight award. To read the press release click here.
All of Pleasanton's traffic signals detect vehicles when they arrive and leave and adjust the timing to optimize traffic flow at the intersection. Typically we use a combination of inductive loops (coiled wires in the pavement) and digital cameras (mounted above the intersection) to detect vehicles. Detecting bicyclists with inductive loops is more difficult as some bicycle frames do not have much (if any) metal on them. Bicycle detection can be better achieved with cameras, but even the newest camera systems cannot differentiate between bicycles and vehicles.
The City of Pleasanton is one of the first cities in the country to procure and install a new traffic signal vehicle detection device. The device – known as the “Intersector” – is a radar style detection device and is unique in that it can identify and differentiate different vehicle types, including bicycles! When a bicycle approaches an intersection, the device would have the ability to detect the bicycle AND adjust traffic signal timing (green time) to allow sufficient time for the bicycle to clear an intersection. When bicycles aren’t present it would allow shorter minimum green times more appropriate for motorized traffic. The device is also impervious to various weather conditions (wind, fog, twilight, heat and cold, etc) that can affect other traditionally used vehicle detection technologies.
An initial phase to test the device at an isolated
location performed successfully. The City began a second phase by soliciting input from local bicycle enthusiasts on additional test locations. Phase II includes the following locations:
1) NB Foothill @ Dublin Canyon
2) NB Foothill @ Stoneridge
3) WB Stoneridge @ Foothill
4) WB W Las Positas @ Foothill
5) NB Foothill @ Bernal
6) WB Bernal @ Foothill
7) NB Stoneridge @ W Las Positas
This second phase was also successful. We recently installed Intersector devices on our newest traffic signal turned on 12/27/2011. If this intersection performs well the devices may become the standard method of detection for all future intersections and utilized as a replacement for detection at existing intersections when needed. For more info on traffic signals click here.
The City of Pleasanton’s use of the “Intersector” has been featured in the following news stories: