City Seeking Patent for Traffic Signal Override Device
CLEARWATER - The city is currently seeking a patent on a remote manual override device for traffic signals. The device was developed by the City of Clearwater and lets a police office control an intersection remotely up to 1,000 feet away from a police cruiser, allowing multiple signals to be controlled at once.
The new device was created to ease traffic congestion at the Clearwater Beach roundabout during Spring Break 2006, which was the first spring break after the new Memorial Causeway Bridge opened. Prior to the bridge opening, Police Lieutenant Wayne Andrews and Traffic Operations Manager Paul Bertels, were discussing how the bridge would impact spring break traffic and how the roundabout functions during heavy traffic. They realized they needed something that could control intersections remotely, instead of from a street corner using the current signaling cord.
If signals could be controlled remotely, then we could cut down manpower and control the intersection from a police cruiser instead of by three officers at one intersection during heavy traffic times. Lieutenant Andrews thought that if a device like this were available, it might reduce his traffic-signaling manpower needs by 6 percent. To residents, this means a smoother flow of traffic and less money spent on manpower.
The Traffic Operations division began production in the signal shop. The unit was designed and developed by the city's Traffic Operations division, and it was tested at the roundabout metering signal. Since then, the city has installed units at the Chestnut and Ft. Harrison Avenue intersection and Chestnut and Oak Avenue. Additional units are planned for other signals on the beach and in key downtown locations.
Return to Current Edition