New "Timing of Lights" on the fast track for Pooler Parkway

Timing of the lights at the Airways Ave./ Pooler Parkway

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - We've all been there. You pull up to a red light and something triggers it to change.

That's the upside especially for you, but what about opposing traffic?

Ten then twenty maybe even fifty cars, based on the time of day, pile up waiting on the light to cycle through. Those days on Airways Avenue and Pooler Parkway may be a thing of the past.

Thursday, Savannah City Council approved a new traffic timing system for the lights along Airways Avenue including the I-95 interchange. Pooler was waiting for Savannah to pull the trigger so all of the lights on Pooler Parkway would be enhanced or "synced" and the 95 interchange is actually in Savannah's city limits.

"You become a little impatient, you want things to happen a little bit quicker, but you know sometimes things take time to make sure you get it right," said Mayor Lamb of the long talked about improvements.

"It's called an adaptive traffic signal, where it sees the cars," said Pooler Public Works Director Matt Saxon. "It knows how many cars are out there and how many to let go at each time."

Insync really does see the cars. Each traffic light will get fitted with a camera and the road will be digitally gridded the length of an average car.  And when the camera "sees" that there is a line of cars waiting, the light will then change.

Pooler Mayor Mike Lamb calls them "smart lights" and says, "I think it's going to be great, I think you have to keep up with the times."

Lamb acknowledges that keeping up with the times can be expensive at $50,000 per intersection but it's on the books as SPLOST funds.

"We already have that money approved," he said.

The alternative would be widening, and that would cost even more.

"It's just the way to go," Matt Saxon said. "It just proved that you could do a lot more with lighting than you could putting concrete on the ground. So hopefully we can alleviate the traffic without having to putting additional lanes on Pooler Parkway."

The City of Savannah has five lights on Airways to outfit including the 95 interchange and Pooler will have five lights to outfit on Pooler Parkway.

Pooler City Council will officially vote on it in their next meeting.  Insync is a first for Southeast Georgia. The closest city that uses the technology is Augusta.

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