Tony Hetu

Tony Hetu

City installs new traffic light system

A new traffic lights system controlled by computers and cameras has been installed and is running for the first time in Cranbrook.

A new traffic lights system controlled by computers and cameras has been installed and is running for the first time in Cranbrook.

The intersection of Victoria Avenue and 2nd Street South is now fully equipped with the new system that seems to be moving traffic along at a steady pace. The  city provided a tour to local media on Tuesday afternoon, and traffic seemed to flow effortlessly through the intersection in all directions.

The intersection uses a complex computer system that automatically sees vehicles as they pull up to the intersection. A screen within the nearby electrical box shows a live feed of the intersection. Over each lane there is a grey box superimposed and as a car or truck or even motorcycle enters the lane area green arrows appear over the box, signalling the system to change the lights.

It’s all quite a detour from the old system of large sensor rings that are imbedded in the asphalt in the lanes.

Tony Hetu, City Electrician and Trades Manager, said the upgrade was one that was greatly needed as the infrastructure was first installed in the ‘90s. The life cycle of the equipment is usually 15-20 years, so the upgrade is well overdue.

“For the old system, all the sensors are in the road, so what would happen in the winter with all the moisture, they were starting to fail,” Hetu said. “They are about the same age as our intersections. So we were looking at an upgrade. The cameras were basically the same cost as replacing the old system. I think it’s far superior.”

Hetu said the cost all-in for the new system was about $25,000. He noted that the cost for a contractor to put in a single sensor ring can be $4,000 and that particular intersection has nine of them, one for each lane.

Hetu said the main reason they went with that intersection as the first one was its proximity to the fire hall. The lights also have a system that can be controlled from the fire hall, as well as a GPS beacon on the firetruck, that allows the firetruck to have right of way through the intersection and stop other traffic.

It is also one of the busiest in town. He noted that all of the highway corridor traffic lights are under the jurisdiction Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Minus those intersections, there are nine total in the city, and seven of those are still on the old weight sensor system.

Hetu said the cameras actually require less technological devices than the old sensors.

“The old sensors we would have route detectors for every single lane,” he said.

There are also safeties that puts the whole system into four way flashing if there is a failure.

Hetu said with the system it’s not possible to have green lights simultaneously in different directions, even in the event of a failure.

The city will began work on the Victoria and 2nd Street North to switch on the new system. The cameras are already installed above the traffic lights.

A wireless ethernet connection allows the Trades department at the city to see any issues with the lights, as well as compile stats about traffic counts and usage.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The second annual 50+ Angel Tree program is underway. The angel tree is located at Save On Foods and nominations are currently being accepted. (Laurie Harris file)
Cranbrook 50+ angel tree program underway

Nominate or sponsor someone who needs a little extra holiday spirit this year

Dr. Albert de Villiers, Chief Medical Health Officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
‘People need to start listening’: IH top doc combats COVID-19 misconceptions

Dr. Albert de Villiers says light at the end of the tunnel will grow in step with people’s adherence to PHO guidance

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

Jim Webster displays one of the 50 ski chairs he recently purchased from the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR). After around 50 years of use at the Kimberley Alpine Resort, Webster is now selling the chairs for $500 each to raise funds for a local parks project. Paul Rodgers photo.
Jim Webster sells vintage Kimberley Alpine Resort ski chairs for park fundraiser

Marysville resident Jim Webster recently came into possession of some Kimberley history;… Continue reading

Stock photo courtesy Cliff MacArthur/provincialcourt.bc.ca.
Double-murder trial in case of Cranbrook couple killed adjourned until January

A trial has been adjourned until January for two men charged with… Continue reading

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Amanda Weber-Roy, conservation specialist for BC Parks in the Kootenays. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
VIDEO: Kootenay youth climate group works to protect Nelson’s water supply

Youth Climate Corps members spent five weeks thinning forest in West Arm Park

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read