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MCDOT News & Updates

Posted on: July 17, 2018

Adaptive signals activated along Bell Rd in Surprise area

Bell Road Adaptive Signals

Pilot project aims to improve traffic flow, reduce travel time for Bell Road drivers


The Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), in partnership with the City of Surprise, and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), has activated new Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT) along Bell Road between Cotton Lane and Avenue of the Arts/114th Avenue.  The area is one of four implementation areas in the Bell Road Adaptive Signal Project and includes 17 intersections near the Bell Road and Loop 303 interchange.


[WATCH:  What are adaptive signals?]


“Bell Road serves as an important east-west arterial connection in the northwest part of Maricopa County,” said Jennifer Toth, MCDOT Director and County Engineer. “With the high volume of vehicles using this roadway, our aim is the use the adaptive signal control technology to keep traffic flowing more efficiently at the intersections.”
“Adaptive signal technology responds with traffic signal adjustments that limit delays,” said Brent Cain, director of ADOT’s Transportation Systems Management and Operations Division. “This cooperative, multi-agency project is using cutting-edge technology to better manage traffic flow at freeway interchanges and elsewhere along Bell Road.”


[READ MORE:  How do adaptive signals work?]


In addition to the MCDOT project, the City of Surprise also installed adaptive signal control technology at additional city-operated intersections in the project area at 134th Avenue, Grand Avenue and 165th Avenue to improve efficiency along the entire corridor.

“The drivers are the true winners in this partnership between the City of Surprise, Maricopa County and ADOT,” said City of Surprise Public Works Director Mike Gent. “With the technology installed at every traffic signal along the corridor, we are able to better predict traffic patterns, adjust to changing conditions and keep people moving on the roadway.”
 Bell Road Adaptive Signals Cotton to 114th Ave

While the ASCT system is now operational, it is still considered to be in a test mode as the system is fine-tuned and adjusted in the coming weeks.  Therefore, drivers in the area may not notice any immediate or significant changes to signal timing.  

Adaptive Signal Control Technology automatically adjusts the timing of the green lights at intersections to accommodate for changing traffic patterns. The technology does this by receiving and processing real-time traffic data from strategically placed sensors which allow the system to determine the length of time lights should be green in order to improve traffic flow and reduce the amount of delay drivers experience on the roadway. The system is also optimizing the signal sequences as it is utilizing the most efficient signal sequence for the current traffic conditions.  

About the Bell Road Adaptive Signal Project


The Bell Road Adaptive Signal Project is a pilot project consisting of four implementation areas that aim to improve the overall traffic flow efficiency and safety on Bell Road by providing coordination across jurisdictions, mitigating effects of congestion, and improving operations at interchanges and ramps.  The project requires the installation of adaptive signal control technology at 50 intersections along 16 miles of roadway.  The implementation areas center along Bell Road’s freeway interchanges.  Project partners include the Maricopa County Department of Transportation, the cities of Surprise, Peoria, Glendale, Phoenix and Scottsdale and the Arizona Department of Transportation.   The Bell Road Adaptive Signal Project is one of the longest adaptive signal projects in the nation. Funding for the project was programmed through Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG).

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