Rapid Flow Blog

Surtrac Adaptive Traffic Signal Control in Quincy, MA Improving Commutes

Posted on May 22, 2019

CBS Boston recently ran a news segment highlighting Quincy, MA’s efforts to improve the commutes of drivers through the large Boston suburb with the use of adaptive traffic signals. The traffic control system discussed throughout the feature is Surtrac which was installed at 20 intersections in the city, including two pedestrian-only or “hawk” intersections.


The segment begins by highlighting some of the issues Quincy drivers deal with on a day-to-day basis, with traffic often backing drivers up 1,500 feet at an intersection. The hectic nature of these busy intersections made driving incredibly frustrating for commuters.

The news spotlight then goes on to describe Surtrac intelligent traffic signal control and the impact its had on Quincy’s busiest intersections. The Surtrac system has enabled cameras, radar, and radio transmitters at 20 intersections to communicate with one another as the software optimizes traffic flows in real time.

Chris Cassani, Quincy’s Director of Traffic and Parking, was interviewed for the segment, noting that Surtrac has greatly reduced queues at lights.

The segment goes on to discuss how the Surtrac software works, contrasting it with the set timing schedule of typical intersections. The adaptive traffic signal control system updates its optimization plan every second to prevent intersections from becoming congested and then alerts neighboring intersections about what kind of traffic to expect. This allows the timing of lights to be adjusted to maximize vehicle throughput across the entire network. Surtrac’s real time optimization capabilities allows it to handle changes in traffic associated with rush hour and holiday conditions.

Additionally, Cassani notes that having Surtrac installed in Quincy is also easing congestion for side roads. With traffic efficiently funneling through the major intersections, fewer drivers feel the need to take “shortcuts” to avoid back-ups.

Access the full article here: New Traffic Light System Aims To Make Your Commute Faster Than Ever

This entry was posted in News.
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