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Forward Pinellas approves $11M tech project to reduce congestion, accidents

Veronica Brezina

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Photo by Nabeel Syed on Unsplash

The Forward Pinellas board approved amendments to the Transportation Improvement Program – including adding a project that will use sensors to reduce congestion and increase safety. 

On Wednesday, the board approved the deployment of the sensor technology along U.S. Highway 19 and State Road 60. 

The project will expand the county’s capabilities to integrate data from third-party providers and video analytics.

It works by deploying connected vehicle roadside units, also called sensors, along the roadways that can predict incident and congestion risks by helping control signalization at traffic lights. 

The Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) grant for the project was awarded to Pinellas County from the U.S. Department of Transportation. 

The federal DOT grant is roughly $4.6 million and would be combined with a local fund contribution of roughly $6.3 million by Pinellas County, bringing the total cost of the project to approximately $11 million, according to public documents.   

It would not affect the funding for other projects within the TIP budget. 

In addition to accepting the tech project into the program, the board also approved a project that would add a southbound left-turn lane on U.S. 19 at the intersection of Gandy Boulevard. There’s an existing left-turn lane so this will give commuters another option.

It includes bike route signage and additional signal timing and operational improvements. No right-of-way is needed for this project, according to the county’s documents. 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Matthew Leonard

    September 8, 2021at5:57 pm

    “additional signal timing” When I first moved to the St Pete/Gulfport area I was amazed at the timing of the lights on 1st Avenues North and South. They were both synched together going both ways so the Streets green lights would light up simultaneously on both Avenues. Now there is a “delay” at the signals due to complaints that the lights were always red for Street traffic. Well, the delay only causes stop & go traffic. If you roll up at the right time the lights will be green. Get a grip. Synch the lights properly. I bet some sort of “maff-a-matics” would help!!! (I apologize. Couldn’t help myself!!! 🌴☘😎)

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