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Light-pole cameras were temporary traffic counters
Wyoming Department of Transpor-tation traffic engineers Steve German, left, and David Persson took down one of the telescoping cameras they used to study Main Street traffic flows this week. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Light-pole cameras were temporary traffic counters

Jun 6, 2013 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The remaining video cameras from the Wyoming Department of Transportation that were placed along Main Street and Federal Boulevard in Riverton were removed Thursday morning.

These battery operated volume-counter units, or VCUs, were placed along the busy highways Tuesday and Wednesday and captured video for the purpose of counting the number of vehicles that travel through.

WyDOT personnel said getting an accurate count of traffic volume allows the department to make sure the timing of the traffic lights is corresponding with the amount of traffic in the streets.

David Persson and Steve German, field data collection technicians with WyDOT, placed and removed the devices this week. They said the counters are placed on traffic light posts about every three years for proper monitoring.

"If (traffic) volumes change, we can stay up to date with the changes," Persson said.

He said timing, phasing and coordination are crucial in keeping traffic flowing efficiently. The timing analysis captures how long the lights stay green on the main streets and side streets and whether that amount of time needs to be changed.

Phasing looks at the left-turn arrow signals and whether they're needed at every intersection. Coordination refers to making sure the traffic lights along the highway are all on par to clear traffic

properly.

Persson added that there are year-long traffic counters already in place in Riverton that communicate with WyDOT the time of year when traffic is heaviest and identifies the "peak" season for motorists.

"They record video of all the cars moving," Persson said.

Manual counting along with the four cameras that were placed on Federal Boulevard then moved to Main Street, completed the traffic count. Next week Persson and German will be in Lander placing the VCUs.

Once the counting is complete, all the recorded video is counted via computer software.

Main Street and Federal Boulevard are state highways that receive signal maintenance from WyDOT.

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